KAMPALA (AFP) – Ugandan health officials said on Monday that they are continuing to monitor five people feared to have contracted the Ebola-like Marburg virus, even though all suspected cases so far have tested negative.
A 30-year-old medical technician died from the Marburg virus on September 28, 11 days after falling ill, at the Mengo hospital in the capital where he worked, sparking alarm in the east African nation.
“All the alert and suspect cases have been thoroughly investigated, and have all tested negative for the Marburg virus,” primary health care minister Sarah Opendi Achieng said in a statement on Monday.
But five people are in medical isolation as doctors monitor their health as a precautionary measure.
The Marburg virus is currently one of the most deadly known pathogens in the world.
Like the Ebola virus, it causes severe bleeding, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and has a 21-day incubation period.
The government has made repeated appeals to the public “to remain alert” and observe the precautions to control the spread of the virus.
Like Ebola, the Marburg virus is also transmitted via contact with bodily fluids and fatality rates range from 25 to 80 per cent.
The Ebola epidemic that has been raging in west Africa has so far claimed over 4,000 lives, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone worst hit.
A Marburg outbreak in Uganda in October 2012 killed 10 people.