Thursday, October 25, 2012

#Marburg Virus: 196 Under Surv.; CDC Team Arrives Next Week

Despite having one person admitted at Mulago Hospital with Marburg Haemorrhagic fever, health minister, Dr Christine Ondoa has assured Ugandans that the city is safe from the deadly virus.

The World Health Organisation has also said it will not recommend travel restrictions within or outside the country at the moment, since the epidemic is under control.

A team of health experts from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) arrives in the country next week to carry out a study on wild animals in districts where suspected cases of the Marburg virus has been reported.

Addressing journalists at the media centre Thursday, Ondoa said the CDC team would help to confirm the cause of the outbreak which was confirmed this month.

She warned that communities living near forest areas in western Uganda were susceptible to infection from the Marburg virus since they often come into contact with wild animals.

The last Marburg outbreak in Uganda was reported in October 2007 in Kamwenge district, and studies linked the virus to bats and wild game in Imaramagambo forest.

Marburg fever is caused by a virus that easily spreads through direct contact with wounds, body 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.

Ondoa confirmed that four of the six suspected cases had from suspected Marburg fever, while 196 people are under surveillance for possible contact with the infected in Kabale, Rukungiri, Ibanda and Kampala.

One of the two confirmed Marburg victims is admitted at Mulago Hospital and in stable condition while another person is recovering at Rushoroza Health Centre III in Kabale district.

Dr Joachim Saweka, the WHO country representative said Uganda had one of the best surveillance teams in the region, but decried Government’s slow commitment to funding such interventions.

The health ministry urgently needs sh2.3b to stem the epidemic, of which sh1.7b will be used to for surveillance, research and procurement of protective gear while sh650m is to be spent in the affected districts.

No comments: