Saturday, October 20, 2012

Uganda gov't dispatches medical team to southwestern region over Marburg outbreak

KAMPALA, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Uganda's ministry of health on Friday dispatched a team of experts to the south western district of Kabale where an outbreak of the deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever has been confirmed.

The ministry in a statement issued here said the team will support both the clinical and public health investigations, adding that the National Ebola Task-force has reactivated its rapid response committees to quickly act to any emergencies.

"The surveillance team has commenced the active tracing and listing of all possible contacts that were exposed to the suspects and confirmed cases," the statement said.
The ministry early on Friday confirmed the outbreak of the highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever after laboratory tests of three samples turned positive.

It said that preliminary reports from Kitumba Sub County indicate that four members of the same family had allegedly died of a strange disease since Oct. 4.
The ministry urged the public to avoid unnecessary public gatherings, direct contact with body fluids of a person suffering from Marburg and also report any suspected patient to a nearby health unit.
"The ministry of health calls upon the public to stay calm as all possible measures are being undertaken to control the situation," the statement said.

The Marburg virus was last reported in Uganda in 2008.
The killer disease is spread through direct contact with wounds, body fluid like blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.

A person suffering from the disease presents with sudden onset of high fever with headache, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains and bleeding through the body openings.
Although it is a highly contagious disease and kills in a short time, it can easily be prevented, according to the ministry.

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