The Ministry of Health yesterday warned that the man infected with the Marburg virus was capable of transmitting the deadly virus through sex within 10 weeks of the outbreak. â€œThe virusâ€™ active life cycle is 21 days but it stays longer in humans and could be transmitted sexually. So the case sti
The Ministry of Health yesterday warned that the man infected with the Marburg virus was capable of transmitting the deadly virus through sex within 10 weeks of the outbreak. â€œThe virusâ€™ active life cycle is 21 days but it stays longer in humans and could be transmitted sexually. So the case still alive must abstain to protect the other party from infection,â€ said the head of the national task force, Dr. Sam Okware.
The Marburg virus, which is related to Ebola, killed a 29-year-old man and infected another one last month. Both were miners at the now closed Kitaka mine in Kamwenge district, some 420km from Kampala.
Health minister Dr. Stephen Malinga yesterday announced that the outbreak had been contained. Two incubation periods, a total of 20 days, had now passed with no new infections being reported.
â€œThere have been no more Marburg cases in the country,â€ he told reporters at the Media Centre in Kampala. â€œHowever, we have decided as a precautionary measure to maintain active surveillance for another 21 days.â€
Health experts from the US Centre for Disease Control advised the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious cases to the nearest health unit.
â€œThis particular epidemic is over because we have stopped its transmission cycle. However, the virus being endemic here, there could be other outbreaks in future once precipitating factors are present,â€ said the centreâ€™s Uganda director, Jordan Tappera.
Meanwhile, blood samples, including that of the monkey suspected to have caused the outbreak, arrived in the US on Monday for analysis. The results are expected next week.
But Piene Rollin, a virologist physician with the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, ruled out monkeys being reservoirs of Marburg. Instead, he said, they were focusing on bats, commonly found in mines and forests, where most outbreaks have occurred in the past.
â€œMonkey and humans seem to suffer the same fate. Both are just infected and victims of Marburg.â€
In the event that a host was established, the communities would be advised to stay away as is the case in the US where places inhabited by rabies-carrying bats are isolated and declared uninhabitable.
Although no more Marburg cases have been reported, the number of people being monitored in Kampala has increased to 97, up from 55 earlier this week.
New persons are being monitored in Katanga slum in the central division after they came in contact with the patients. Others being monitored are in Bweyogerere, Ntinda 1 village, Kayonjo village in Kayunga district as well as Kawumu village in Luweero district where the victim was buried.
In Kamwenge district, the source of the outbreak, people are being monitored at Kitaka mines, Kihumuro Clinic and in Ibanda Hospital.
Marburg survivor denied sex