Kampala- Government epidemiologists have confirmed an outbreak of Marburg haemorrhagic fever case in the eastern district of Kween.

The acting district health officer, Mr Godfrey Chemos, said in a phone interview yesterday that tests of blood samples from two people, who died early this week, turned positive.
The deceased from the sub-counties of Kamwam and Moyok, had been admitted to Kaproron Health Centre IV between October and September.

Mr Chemos said a team from the Ministry of Health had arrived in the district to sensitise residents about the disease and prevent its spread.

Dr Diana Atwine, the Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, yesterday said a team of epidemiologists and laboratory technologists led by the acting director general of health services, had been sent to the district.
Marburg affects both humans and non-human primates, and manifests with symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, gum bleeding and vomiting blood.
Today, the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Aceng, is expected to issue a statement at the Uganda Media Centre.

Symptoms
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around the fifth day after the onset of symptoms, a maculopapular rash, most prominent on the trunk (chest, back, stomach), may occur.

Other symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. Symptoms become increasingly severe and can include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive bleeding and multi-organ dysfunction.
Marburg has symptoms that are similar to other infectious diseases such as malaria or typhoid fever and clinical diagnosis of the disease can be difficult, especially if only a single case is involved.
Prevention

Preventive measures against Marburg virus infection are not well defined, as transmission from wildlife to humans remains an area of ongoing research.
If a patient is either suspected or confirmed to have Marburg haemorrhagic fever, barrier nursing techniques should be used to prevent direct physical contact with the patient, according to CDC.

The precautions include wearing of protective gowns, gloves, and masks; placing the infected individual in strict isolation; and sterilisation or proper disposal of needles, equipment, and patient excretions.

The country has taken about three years without reporting any outbreak of a viral haemorrhagic fever. The last confirmed outbreak in the country happened in September 2014 when a 30-year old man died after testing positive of the Marburg virus.

eainebyoona@ug.nationmedia.com