Marburg Virus Claims Life in Uganda’s Capital Kampala
On Saturday, Ugandan authorities said a man in the capital Kampala, was reported dead from an outbreak of Marburg virus. The Marburg virus is a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus that is causing havoc in the West Africa and has so far claimed more than 3,400 lives.
Unlike the Ebola virus that has 21 days incubation period, the Marburg virus has only 14 days incubation period. The death of one man in Uganda has led to the quarantine of 80 other people who were in contact with him.
The Marburg virus, just like the Ebola virus has no known vaccine or treatment. It is spread through bodily fluids like saliva and blood or when handling infected wild animals like monkeys. The representative from the Ugandan health ministry stated that the 30-year old man, who worked as a radiographer started feeling unwell some 10 days before his demise on September 30th.
The man had symptoms of headache, diarrhea, vomiting blood and having abdominal pain. Samples taken from the man by the Uganda Virus Research Institute tested positive for the Marburg virus.
Out of the 80 people quarantined who had come into contact with the deceased, 60 of whom are health workers. The people under quarantine either came into contact with him while he was in Kampala or at his burial place in Kasese.
Uganda too has been hit by the Marburg and Ebola virus in the past, but has always been able to contain the situation rapidly. The worst case was back in 2000 when an Ebola outbreak infected 425 people in Uganda, and claimed the lives of more than half of the infected people.