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Uganda Confirms New Case of Marburg Virus


Ugandan health authorities have confirmed a new case of the deadly Marburg virus, nearly two months after officials announced it had been contained.

The Health Ministry Wednesday said a miner contracted the disease after entering a closed gold mine in northern Uganda believed to be the source of an outbreak that killed two people in July.

The miner worked as a guide for a team of international researchers who collected hundreds of bats from the mine. They are trying to determine if the July victims contracted the virus from the flying mammals.

Scientists have found that one species of African fruit bat can carry the virus.

Marburg, like Ebola, is spread through blood and other body fluids.

There is no cure for the Marburg virus. The disease kills 90 percent of people who get sick with it.

A major outbreak of Marburg fever among gold miners occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1998 and 2000, killing 128 of the 154 people infected. In 2004 and 2005, another outbreak in Angola caused the death of 150 out of 163 people who became ill.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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