There is an outbreak of Marburg virus disease in Kween district in eastern Uganda; the Ugandan Health Ministry says. Kween district shares boarder with Kenya, the latter has been put on alert as the disease spreads easily. The regional WHO office was notified of the infection first on the 17th of October 2017 by the ministry but declared it as an outbreak on the 19th of October.
Marburg virus disease is similar to Ebola virus disease in both transmission and presentation; it is highly infectious.
So far five cases have been reported, one is confirmed, one is probable while the other three are suspected.
The index case (the first case in this outbreak) is a probably a thirty year old game hunter who lived near a cave inhabited by bats. He fell ill on the 20th of September 2017 with high fever, vomiting and diarrhea; was admitted in the local health centre and treated for malaria. Failing to respond to treatment he was transferred to a referral hospital where he died. He was not autopsied and no blood samples were collected; the traditional burial is said to have been attended by about 200 people. This is the probable case.
The sister who took care of the man above and participated in his burial took ill on the 5th of October 2017 and was admitted in the same facilities where she died a few days later. She was given a traditional burial but blood samples were taken post humously and sent to the Uganda virus research Institute. The result came on the 17th of October confirming that she died of Marburg virus disease. This is the confirmed case.
The third person who took ill in this outbreak is the brother of the woman above and the first person who died. He took her to hospital and participated in the burial. He refused admission and has gone into hiding. He is a suspected case.
The other two suspected cases are health workers who had contact with the first and second persons.
About 155 persons including 44 health workers who made contact with the dead persons (the man and the woman) have been identified and are being followed.