National
Health Ministry warns on Marburg outbreakPublish Date: Oct 19, 2012
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By Vision Reporter

The Ministry of Health has warned the general public of an outbreak of a deadly Marburg virus in Kitumba sub-county, Kabale district in western Uganda.

A statement issued Friday afternoon said laboratory tests done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed three samples positive of the highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever.  

Preliminary reports from the district indicate that four other people had allegedly died of a strange disease since October 4th.

 This strange disease has now been confirmed as Marburg. Investigations indicate that all the cases occurred among members of the same family in Kiyonjo parish in Kitumba sub-county.

Marburg is a killer disease caused by a virus and is spread through direct contact with wounds, body fluids like blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.

A person suffering from Marburg presents with sudden onset of high fever with any of the following; headache, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains and bleeding through the body openings, i.e. eyes, nose, gums, ears, anus and the skin.

Marburg is a highly contagious disease and kills in a short time but can easily be prevented. The Ministry of Health is working with stakeholders and other development partners to contain the spread of this disease.

The following measures have been put in place in order to limit the spread of this highly infectious disease;

•         A team of experts has been dispatched to the district to support both clinical and public health investigations   

•         The National Taskforce has reactivated its rapid response committees to quickly act to any emergencies

•         The surveillance team has commenced the active tracing and listing of all possible contacts that were exposed to the suspects and confirmed cases.

•         The Kabale District Taskforce has been reactivated to effectively coordinate programs in the district

The Ministry of Health urges the general public to observe the following protective measures;

•         Report any suspected patient to a nearby health unit

•         Avoid direct contact with body fluids of a person suffering from Marburg by using protective materials like gloves and masks

•         Avoid unnecessary public gatherings  

The Ministry of Health calls upon the public to stay calm as all possible measures are being undertaken to control the situation.

 For more information and reports of any cases, please contact the Ministry hotline on +256750996034.  The country will be kept informed further on the outcome of this health emergency.

 

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