Reuters logo
Uganda confirms one death from Ebola-like Marburg virus
October 19, 2017 / 10:37 AM / 2 months ago

Uganda confirms one death from Ebola-like Marburg virus

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda has confirmed one death from Marburg virus, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, the health minister said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: People walk in Mengo Hospital, where an employee died from the Ebola-like Marburg virus, in the Uganda capital Kampala October 6, 2014. The 30-year old radiographer died in Uganda's capital after an outbreak of Marburg, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, authorities said on Sunday, adding that a total of 80 people who came into contact with him were quarantined. Marburg starts with a severe headache followed by haemorrhaging and leads to death in 80 percent or more of cases in about nine days. It is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which has killed thousands in West Africa in recent months. The health ministry said in a statement that the man died on Sept. 28 while working at the hospital. REUTERS/James Akena

Jane Ruth Aceng told reporters the case, which led to a fatality, had been confirmed after a series of tests were carried out.

The East African nation last suffered a Marburg outbreak, which has a high mortality rate, in 2014. Marburg is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which killed thousands in West Africa in 2014.

The victim, a 50-year old woman, died on October 11 at a hospital in eastern Uganda after “she presented with signs and symptoms suggestive of viral hemorrhagic fevers”, the minister said.

The woman had nursed her 42-year old brother who died on September 25 with similar signs and symptoms and also participated in cultural preparation of the body for burial, she added.

Aceng said the man was “a hunter who carried out his activities where there are caves with heavy presence of bats,” Aceng said.

FILE PHOTO: A newspaper displayed on a stand shows a headline of the Marburg virus outbreak in the Ugandan capital Kampala October 6, 2014. A man has died in Uganda's capital after an outbreak of Marburg, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, authorities said on Sunday, adding that a total of 80 people who came into contact with him were quarantined. Marburg starts with a severe headache followed by haemorrhaging and leads to death in 80 percent or more of cases in about nine days. It is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which has killed thousands in West Africa in recent months. The health ministry said in a statement that the 30-year old radiographer died on Sept. 28 while working at a hospital in Kampala. REUTERS/James Akena

The African fruit bat is the reservoir host of the Marburg virus although infected bats do not show obvious signs of the disease.

Symptoms and signs of Marburg include headache, vomiting blood, muscle pains and bleeding through various orifices. Transmission of the disease occurs through contact with infected blood or other body fluids and tissue.

FILE PHOTO: A news vendor displays newspapers for sale along a street in the Ugandan capital Kampala October 6, 2014. A man has died in Uganda's capital after an outbreak of Marburg, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, authorities said on Sunday, adding that a total of 80 people who came into contact with him were quarantined. Marburg starts with a severe headache followed by haemorrhaging and leads to death in 80 percent or more of cases in about nine days. It is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which has killed thousands in West Africa in recent months. The health ministry said in a statement that the 30-year old radiographer died on Sept. 28 while working at a hospital in Kampala. REUTERS/James Akena

World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Christian Lindmeier in Geneva told Reuters they were deploying staff to bolster the Ugandan efforts to contain the outbreak.

“We are coordinating with partners to ensure that they have the necessary support and will deploy additional resources as necessary,” he said.

Uganda has suffered several outbreaks of Marburg and Ebola in the past, although they have been mostly contained quickly which has limited fatalities.

The country’s worst occurrence of a hemorrhagic fever was in 2000, when 425 people contracted Ebola and more than half of them died.

Marburg’s fatality rate, according to WHO, has varied over the years with the highest, 80 percent, occurring in outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1998-2000 and in Angola in 2005.

Additional reporting by Tom Miles in Geneva; Editing by Maggie Fick and Richard Balmforth

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below