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Three Ugandans in isolation after Ebola-like Marburg virus death

07 October 2014, 17:29

Kampala - Three Ugandans are being monitored in medical isolation for possibly contracting the Ebola-like Marburg virus, health officials said Tuesday, after a hospital worker died.

"There are three suspect cases in isolation," the health ministry said in a statement.

Two are being held in the national isolation centre in Entebbe, outside the capital Kampala, while the third, a seven-year old boy, is in an isolation ward at Mpigi, some 35 kilometres (20 miles) southwest of the city.

A hospital technician died of the Marburg virus in Kampala on Sunday.

The man, aged 30, died in the Mengo hospital where he worked in the capital of the east African country on September 28, 11 days after falling ill, the authorities said.

So far, 99 people he had been in contact with have been monitored, but with no confirmed cases.

Also read: Drug blocks Ebola-like virus in monkey tests

"The National Taskforce, through the field epidemiologists and surveillance officers, continues to closely monitor all people who got into contact with this confirmed case," the statement added.

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

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

The government on Tuesday repeated appeals to the public "to remain alert" and observe the precautions to control the spread of the virus.

"Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home," the warning read.

"Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients or suspected cases."

A Marburg outbreak in Uganda in October 2012 killed 10 people, about half of those who were confirmed infected with the disease.

The Ebola epidemic that has been raging in west Africa has so far claimed almost 3,500 lives, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone worst hit.



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