By Goodluck Musinguzi Kabale
Another person has died of Marburg virus disease in South West Uganda, bringing the toll from the outbreak to five, government officials said on Saturday.
The death occurred in Bukora Kitumba sub-county in Kabale district.
"It’s sad the fifth person has died because the emergency team delayed to reach Kabale on Friday". Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the Kabale District Chairman said
Meanwhile, the emergency team dispatched to deal with the outbreak has arrived in Kabale. The team will be conducting burials and managing an emergency zone to treat people.
Efforts are also underway to track all people who had had contact with the victims, the government said. Authorities urged the public to avoid direct bodily contact with a person suffering from Marburg and unnecessary public gatherings.
Marburg virus disease, also known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever is transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva and blood, or by handling infected wild animals such as monkeys.
The disease, from the same family of viruses as Ebola, starts with severe headache and leads to haemorrhaging and, in previous outbreaks in Africa, to death in 80 percent or more of cases, usually within eight to nine days.
The last outbreak of Marburg in Uganda came in 2007 and killed two miners in the country's west. The latest outbreak comes after at least 16 people died from Ebola in August. In 2000, 425 people contracted Ebola in Uganda and more than half of them died.
A major outbreak of Marburg occurred among gold miners in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1998 and 2000, causing 128 deaths out of 154 cases.
An outbreak in Angola in 2004-05 killed 150 people out of 163 cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).