UGANDA DECLARED FREE OF MARBURG VIRUS

KAMPALA, Nov 12 — Health officials have declared Uganda free of the Ebola-like Marburg Virus after completing a 42-day surveillance period under World Health Organization (WHO) rules.

“The country is officially declared free of the Marburg virus epidemic,” said State Minister of Health Sarah Achieng Opendi in a statement here Tuesday.

A 30-year-old medical technician died from Marburg on Sept 28, 11 days after falling ill in a Kampala hospital where he worked, triggering alarm. A total of 197 people were monitored, including eight who had symptoms, but none had the virus.

“Since then, there has been no Marburg case reported in the country; this implies that the Marburg outbreak in the country has completely been controlled,” Opendi added.

The Marburg virus is one of the most deadly known pathogens. Like Ebola, it causes severe bleeding, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and has a 21-day incubation period.

Like Ebola, the Marburg virus is also transmitted via contact with bodily fluids and fatality rates range from 25 to 80 per cent.

The current Ebola outbreak has claimed almost 5,000 lives in West Africa since the beginning of the year.

A Marburg outbreak in Uganda in October 2012 killed 10 people.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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