Ministry of Health has reported that a second person has died of the Marburg virus disease in Eastern Uganda. Since the outbreak was declared on October 19, the number of cumulative cases has grown to 15 including two confirmed cases, four suspected ones, three that are probable and six that have been ruled out.
In an update released by the Ministry on Thursday, it revealed that a high risk contact who had been in hiding was found to have developed Marburg-like symptoms.
The patient, a 38-year-old male, is a brother to the first confirmed case and the probable
“Because of his close contact with the probable and confirmed cases, he was listed as a high risk contact. However, he refused review and follow-up by the
contact tracing/surveillance team despite several attempts to do so,” a statement by the Ministry read.
The contact tracing team later discovered that he had developed Marburg – like symptoms and immediately transported him to the isolation unit with fever, body weakness, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, joint pains and history of vomiting blood while at home.
“Despite the tireless efforts from a dedicated case management team to revive this case, he unfortunately passed away earlier today [Thursday].”
A blood sample picked from this patient was sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute and tested positive for Marburg Virus Disease.
A 25-year-old female from a village called government lodge, Kawowo parish, in Kapchorwa district also presented with Marburg – like symptoms and is now treated as a suspect. She has since been isolated and a sample was collected for confirmation but the Ministry says the suspect’s condition is stable.
The new probable case is a 23-year-old male from Toywo village, Western Division, Kapchorwa Municipality whose bed at the hospital was next to that of the deceased confirmed case. A blood sample was collected and his lab results are expected by today [Friday].
Meanwhile, the total number of contacts under follow up by the teams on ground currently stands at 130. Of these, 85 are from Kween district while 45 are from Kapchorwa district.
As of this evening, 32 out of the 77 contacts from Kapchorwa district had either
completed the recommended 21 days after exposure, or are no longer being
followed because the case they were exposed to turned out to be negative.
The Ministry of Health has appealed to the public to remain alert and report any suspected patients immediately to a nearby health facility. The public was further asked to avoid direct contact with body fluids of a person presenting with bleeding tendencies or symptoms suggestive of Marburg virus disease.
Marburg virus disease is caused by the Marburg virus, a rare but severe type of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever which affects bith humans and non humans like monkeys. A person suffering from Marburg presents with high grade fever, headache, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains, unexplained bleeding through the body openings.