Outbreak of Ebola-like Marburg fever kills man in Uganda
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[October 06, 2014]
By Elias Biryabarema
KAMPALA (Reuters) - A man has died in
Uganda's capital after an outbreak of Marburg, a highly infectious
hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, authorities said on Sunday, adding
that a total of 80 people who came into contact with him were
Marburg starts with a severe headache followed by hemorrhaging and
leads to death in 80 percent or more of cases in about nine days. It
is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which has killed
thousands in West Africa in recent months.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the Marburg virus,
which is transmitted through bodily fluids such as saliva and blood
or by handling infected wild animals such as monkeys.
The health ministry said in a statement that the 30-year old
radiographer died on Sept. 28 while working at a hospital in
Kampala. He had started feeling unwell about 10 days earlier, and
his condition kept deteriorating. He complained of headache,
abdominal pain, vomiting blood and diarrhea.
Samples were taken and tested at the Uganda Virus Research
Institute, and results confirmed the man had the Marburg virus.
Doctors said his brother, one of the people he came into contact
with, has developed similar symptoms and has been quarantined in a
group of 80 others, 60 of whom are health workers.
Those quarantined came into contact with the victim either in
Kampala or his burial place in Kasese, a district in western Uganda
bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Marburg has a shorter incubation period of 14 days, compared with
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The current outbreak of Ebola, the deadliest on record so far, has
killed more than 3,400 people in four West African countries.
Uganda has been hit by several outbreaks of Marburg and Ebola in the
past, but it has contained the outbreaks quickly, limiting
Its worst occurrence of hemorrhagic fever occurred in 2000, when 425
people contracted Ebola and more than half of them died.
(Writing by James Macharia; editing by Jane Baird)
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