WHO to Declare Uganda Marburg Free

WHO to Declare Uganda Marburg Free

The World Health Organisation is set declare Uganda marburg free after two cycles of incubation period totaling 42 days have passed without new cases reported.

The Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Marburg in Kween and Kapchorwa districts on 19th Oct, 2017 with two deaths confirmed.

Uganda will be declared Marburg free this Friday 08 – December 2017 after completion of 42 days of the Post Marburg Surveillance countdown period which is a prerequisite of the World Health Organization  requiring any affected country to monitor the situation of any Viral Hemorrhagic Fever for that period before finally declaring an end to the outbreak.

The ministry of health on the aftermath of the outbreak embarked on contact tracing and follow-up activities with 155 contacts including 66 who had contact with the first case and 89 who had contact with the second case-patient closely monitored but they all tested negative.

Marburg virus disease is an emerging and highly virulent epidemic-prone disease associated with high case fatality rates (case fatality rate: 23–90%). Marburg virus disease outbreaks are rare. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons or wild animals (e.g. monkeys and fruit bats).

Candidate experimental treatments and vaccine are being reviewed for potential clinical trials.

Uganda has previous experience in managing recurring viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks including Marburg virus disease. Cases have historically been reported among miners and travellers who visited caves inhabited by bat colonies in Uganda. Marburg virus disease outbreaks have been documented during:

  • 2007 – 4 cases, including 2 deaths in Ibanda District, Western Uganda;
  • 2008 – 2 unrelated cases in travellers returning to the Netherlands and USA, respectively after visiting caves in Western Uganda;
  • 2012 – 15 cases, including 4 deaths in Ibanda and Kabale districts, Western Uganda; and
  • 2014 – 1 case in healthcare professional from Mpigi District, Central Uganda.