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Health Ministry warns on Marburg outbreak

By Aloysious Kasoma

The Ministry of Health has this Friday warned the general public of an outbreak of a deadly Marburg virus in Kitumba sub-county, Kabale district in western Uganda.

Health experts have confirmed an outbreak of the deadly Marburg after samples from two relatives taken to the Uganda Virus Institute and tested positive.

Police Thursday stopped the burial of Boaz Turyahikayo a lecturer at Uganda Christian University and his sister Mildrid Asasira after it emerged that their family had lost four people from a mysterious disease in just a month.

The other two are Lillian Banegura their mother and an elder brother Bernard Rutaro who passed away early this month.

The Marburg virus was last reported in Uganda in 2008 and it carries symptoms similar to those of Ebola that include fever, vomiting and internal bleeding.

A statement issued Friday afternoon said laboratory tests done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed three samples positive of the highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever.

Preliminary reports from the district indicate that four other people had allegedly died of a strange disease since October 4th.

Marburg is a killer disease caused by a virus and is spread through direct contact with wounds, body fluids like blood, saliva, vomiting, stool and urine of an infected person.

A person suffering from Marburg presents with sudden onset of high fever with any of the following; headache, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains and bleeding through the body openings, i.e. eyes, nose, gums, ears, anus and the skin.

Marburg is a highly contagious disease and kills in a short time but can easily be prevented. The Ministry of Health is working with stakeholders and other development partners to contain the spread of this disease.

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