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Temporary virus research institute set up

By Sarah Namulondo

The ministry of health has set up a temporary virus research institute in Ibanda to reduce the delays in receiving Marburg results.

Addressing a press conference today at media centre, the Minister of Health Christine Ondoa said that this was done to reduce the time it takes for the results to be transported to Entebbe and back to Kabale.

She said that although this has been set up, serological results will be got from the Uganda virus research institute.

The minister also said so far 45 samples off Marburg suspects have been taken and nine have been confirmed to have the virus (Marburg) at this institute.

She also said that the total of Marburg patients admitted was 12, eight in Rushoroza hospital, two in Mulago hospital and 2in Mbarara hospital.

Jane Ruth Acheng, the Director General Health Services emphasized that although 436 contacts have been put under close observation, only 12 have been admitted as patients with the Marburg disease. She explained that being admitted and being closely observed are totally two different things.

Being observed is when you have been in contact with victims she said and being admitted is when results show that you have developed antibodies against the virus (Marburg).

The minister also noted that Marburg has started moving to neighbouring places like Ibanda and Mbarara, and noted that on Oct 24 a reported case of Marburg died at Mbarara hospital taking the death toll to eight people.

She commended World Health Organisation, IMF, Red cross and CDC for helping in fighting this virus and specially thanked the media for educating people about this virus.

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