New Vision (Kampala)

24 October 2012

Uganda: Marburg - 132 Now Being Monitored

Two more people have been admitted to an isolation centre at Rushoroza Health Centre III in Kabale district with signs of the deadly marburg fever. This brings the number of suspected cases to seven.

The number of people being monitored by World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health has also risen from 34 to 132.

Dr. Patrick Tusiime, the Kabale district director of health services, yesterday said the number of suspected cases was rising.

At least two people are confirmed to have contracted the marburg virus since it was first reported in the Kabale district this month.

According to the health ministry, marburg has so far claimed one person, although at least five people have died after showing symptoms linked to the deadly virus.

The ministry spokesperson, Rukia Nakamatte, Tuesday said the samples of the suspected cases were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute laboratory in Entebbe for testing.

The two new cases reported on Monday are an 18-year-old female student from Kabale Secondary School, who was admitted at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital.

Her brother, a mortuary attendant at the hospital, died last week shortly after preparing the body of the first suspected marburg victim.

Another suspected case is the 54-year-old mother to the deceased, who developed severe abdominal pain, vomiting, chest pain and profuse sweating.

The first suspected case of marburg fever was reported two weeks ago after a family of five died from a mysterious disease.

The survivor, Obed Ntegyereize, fled Kiyonjo Parish in Kitumba sub-county in Kabale district to Rukungiri district, suspecting his relatives had been bewitched.

Ntegyereize, who tested positive for the virus, is being treated at Rushoroza Health Centre III.

The district leaders have temporarily banned public gatherings as a measure to stop further spread of the marburg virus.

Meanwhile, Sharon Twinomujuni, the woman who tested positive for Marburg and is a relative of the five people who died, is steadily improving. She is isolated at Mulago Hospital.

Marburg fever is caused by a virus that easily spreads through direct contact with wounds, bodily fluids like blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.

A person suffering from marburg presents symptoms such as high fever, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains and bleeding through the body openings like eyes, nose, gums, ears, anus and the skin.

Appearing before the public accounts committee of Parliament yesterday, the permanent secretary in the health ministry, Dr Asuman Lukwago said the outbreak was under control

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