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Uganda completes 21-day mandatory cycle for Marburg

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 20th November 2017 03:05 PM

The health minister said Uganda has to complete another 21 days before it can be certain that the outbreak is completely under control.

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The health minister said Uganda has to complete another 21 days before it can be certain that the outbreak is completely under control.

HEALTH | MARBURG CLEAR

Uganda has completed the 21-day mandatory cycle since the death of the last confirmed Marburg victim reported in Kween district last month.

What this means is that as of Friday last week, all persons that might have been in contact with either the one probable or two confirmed cases, (all dead) are out of danger, having been followed up for any signs and symptoms of the deadly disease. A total of 230 contacts listed for follow up have since completed.

However, to declare the country completely free of the outbreak, the health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said Uganda has to complete another 21 days before it can be certain that the outbreak is completely under control.

“It is only then that the World Health Organisation (WHO) can give us a go ahead to say this particular outbreak has come to an end. However, despite no new cases, we have to continue with surveillance as the disease may not come from contacts, but a new case emerging from elsewhere, given that caves and fruit bats still exist,” she said.

Aceng made the remarks while receiving 10 motorcycles worth $32,000 (sh115m) from WHO at the ministry headquarters, to support surveillance activities in Kween and Kapchorwa districts.

The minister said the terrain and road network in both districts were a big challenge to the teams on ground, who could not quickly reach the affected communities with vehicles. She said motorcycles would ease the movements.

Dr Jack Abdoulie, the Acting WHO Representative in Uganda, commended the health ministry for mounting an effective outbreak response against the deadly Marburg virus.

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