Uganda free of Marburg virus

Ugandan officials announced on Tuesday that the country was free of Marburg virus after a 42-day World Health Organization-imposed surveillance period ended following the death of a health care worker from the virus in September.

No new cases were reported after the initial patient.

For three weeks after the first death, 197 people who had close contact with the patient during and after his death were closely monitored. All but eight were symptom free. Those eight contacts showed initial signs of the illness, but tested negative for the virus.

Marburg, a viral hemorrhagic fever similar to the Ebola virus, was first discovered in 1967 after an outbreak occurred in Marburg, Germany, following the delivery of a shipment of lab monkeys from Uganda. Symptoms of the disease are, sudden high fever, vomiting blood, joint and muscle weakness,  and bleeding from openings in the body such as the eyes, nose, gums and pores in the skin.

Like Ebola, it has a high mortality rate and is spread through contact of infected bodily fluids.

Ugandan officials reminded the public to avoid contact with wild animals, especially fruit bats, and urged health care workers to wear protective equipment when coming into contact with bodily fluids from patients. 

Organizations in this Story

International -Republic of Uganda Ministry of Health

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