World Health Organization tries to curb the outbreak of the Marburg virus
An outbreak of the Marburg virus was found in eastern Uganda. At least one person has died of the disease and hundreds of people may have been infected. The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently working to contain the outbreak as effectively as possible.
At least one case of the Marburg virus has occurred on the border with Kenya in eastern Uganda. It is therefore very important to avoid further infection of other people. The WHO has now issued a press release warning of the risk of the disease spreading, saying that it is working to contain the outbreak.
Many people may already have been infected
Since at least one person died as a result of the Marburg virus, the experts believe that hundreds of other people in health facilities and at the traditional funeral ceremony in the so-called Kween District could have become infected. This district is a mountain area 300 kilometers northeast of Kampala.
50-year-old woman dies from the effects of the Marburg virus
The first case of the Marburg virus was identified by the health authorities on October 17. A 50-year-old woman was affected, who had already died on October 11 in a health center with fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. Subsequent examinations in the laboratory at the Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Uganda showed that the cause of death was actually due to the Marburg virus.
Does the infection come from Rousettus bats?
The experts also found that the woman's brother had died of similar symptoms three weeks earlier. The man was then buried at a traditional funeral. The woman's brother worked as a hunter and lived near a cave in which so-called Rousettus bats live. These animals are natural hosts of the Marburg virus, the scientists explain.
Two other suspected cases have already occurred
At the present time, a suspected infection and an extremely probable case are examined more closely and given medical care. In one case, the experts report that there is a high probability that the affected person will develop hemorrhagic fever. In the other case, there was previously only suspicion of Marburg fever. Of course, the responsible health authorities try to reach all people who may have come into contact with the virus.
A team of experts travels to the affected region
As a quick response to the health threat, a team of doctors was immediately dispatched to the affected area. These experts are supported by staff from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the AFNET (African Field Epidemiology Network).
WHO provides $ 500,000 in emergency aid
The World Health Organization provides medical supplies and guidelines for safe and dignified burials. The World Health Organization has also provided $ 500,000 to fund emergency measures.
Countermeasures must be implemented quickly and effectively
"We work with health authorities to quickly implement response measures," explains Dr. Ibrahima-Soce Fall, the WHO director for the Africa region. Uganda has already overcome Ebola and Marburg outbreaks, but international support is still urgently needed. This way, the very high overall risk of the national and regional spread of this disease can be avoided before a true epidemic occurs, the expert adds.
What is the Marburg virus?
The Marburg virus disease is a rare disease with a very high mortality rate. So far there is no specific treatment for the condition. The pathogen triggers Marburg fever in humans (a hemorrhagic fever). The mortality rate for this condition is at least 23 to 25 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. With various outbreaks in Africa, however, the mortality rate found was still much higher. (as)