Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) is warns Rwandans about a new outbreak Marburg virus which has been confirmed at Kapchorwa District in Eastern part of the Republic of Uganda.
The Rwanda Ministry of Health appeals to all people travelling to and from the affected region to take precautionary measures to prevent the disease from spreading to Rwanda.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the local and international partners is putting in place the necessary preventive measures and will constantly communicate to the public all necessary information.
What is Marburg haemorrhagic fever?
Marburg Virus Disease is the causative agent of Marburg haemorrhagic fever (MHF). The virus is among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans with a case fatality ratio of up to 88%.
The Marburg virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons. Transmission of the Marburg virus also occurs by handling ill or dead infected with wild animals (monkeys, fruit bats).
Symptoms of Marburg haemorrhagic fever
After the incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) that varies from 2 to 21 days, the onset of the disease is sudden and is marked by high fever, severe headache and malaise; muscle aches and pains are a common feature. Severe watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, nausea and vomiting few days after the onset of the disease.
Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic manifestations between 8 and 9 days, and fatal cases usually have some form of bleeding, often from multiple areas.
How is Marburg virus spread?
Transmission is mainly human-to-human, resulting from close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons. Burial ceremonies where mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased can play a significant role in the transmission of Marburg. Transmission via infected semen can occur up to seven weeks after clinical recovery.
According to the World Health Organization, Marburg is transmitted via contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or the handling of infected animals. Local media report that the deceased woman’s brother was a hunter.
What is required from the public?
RBC advises People travelling to share information with local and health authorities in case of any suspicion,
RBC also informs anyone with the following symptoms: Sudden fever accompanied with chills, headache and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea or has been in contact with a patient with such symptoms should seek medical attention immediately at the nearest health facility.
According to abcnews.com, One Ugandan has died of Marburg, a highly infectious disease that, like Ebola, manifests as a viral hemorrhagic fever, Uganda’s health minister said Thursday.
The 50-year-old woman who died October 17, 2017 came back positive for Marburg, according abc news.
The victim, who lived in eastern Uganda, had looked after a brother who died in September after falling ill with similar signs and symptoms.
There is no cure or vaccine available for Marburg. Patients are given supportive treatment to increase their chance of survival.
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