REFUGEES FROM CONGO SUSPECTED TO HAVE BROUGHT MARBURG TO UGANDA
According to emerging reports from South Western Uganda there is increasing suspicion of an outbreak of the deadly Marburg fever and affected individuals have been tested and put into a full quarantine. A team of health officials is on the ground, assisted reportedly by security personnel, combing areas where refugees have sought shelter to identify anyone displaying symptoms in line with the early signs of the disease.
Only two weeks ago was Uganda declared Ebola free, after an outbreak, also suspected to have been brought into Uganda from the Eastern Congo, took a toll on patients and health workers. Marburg falls into the same category of virus diseases as Ebola and while less virulent still known to be a killer disease with a high percentage of casualties. Diseases in Congo’s rain forests are common but normally contained within a small radius of one or two communities but with the lack of health care structures in that part of the Congo, where at the moment intense fighting is going on, makes refugees often the main carriers to bring such disease across the border into Uganda, where a much better equipped health care infrastructure is then compelled to deal with the unwanted ‘imports’.
The local media in Kampala are now starting to pick up on the news, which almost inevitably started to emerge on Twitter as individuals on the ground sent messages out which where then picked up and retweeted.
The outbreak comes on the day prior to Uganda’s National Bird Watching contest, with the opening ceremony taking place this afternoon at the Uganda Museum in Kampala from where the participating teams were to leave for their chosen locations upcountry and in the national parks. A full statement is expected later today from the Ministry of Health but the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe has reportedly confirmed that it is Marburg, prompting widespread containment measures now unfolding around the affected areas between Kabale and Kisoro. Watch this space for more news or follow you news broadcasts on social networks or on TV.