News / Africa

Uganda Faces Fresh Outbreak of Hemorrhagic Fever

A laboratory specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at the Uganda virus research centre in Entebbe, 40km (25 miles) south from capital Kampala, May 17, 2011.  A laboratory specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at the Uganda virus research centre in Entebbe, 40km (25 miles) south from capital Kampala, May 17, 2011.
x
A laboratory specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at the Uganda virus research centre in Entebbe, 40km (25 miles) south from capital Kampala, May 17, 2011.
A laboratory specialist examines specimens of the Ebola virus at the Uganda virus research centre in Entebbe, 40km (25 miles) south from capital Kampala, May 17, 2011.
Uganda is struggling to contain the spread of the deadly Marburg virus, just weeks after an outbreak of Ebola killed at least 16 people.  
 
Last week, health officials declared an outbreak of the rare and deadly Marburg virus, a type of hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola.  Five people have died so far, six have been placed in isolation and over 150 more are being monitored for symptoms.  One of the cases is being treated in the capital, Kampala.
 
The outbreak comes just two weeks after Uganda was declared free of Ebola earlier this month. At least 16 people died of Ebola, a virus which in the past has killed hundreds.
 
The cases of Marburg have all come from the southwestern district of Kabale, a heavily forested area where the vectors for the disease, monkeys and bats, are most commonly found. 
 
Ministry of Health spokesperson Rukia Nakamatte says the medical team working to contain the outbreak has considerable experience handling such diseases, which have been recurring in Uganda for decades.
 
“There is a team of experts that is in Kabale district.  These are experts that have handled the previous outbreaks, like the Ebola we had in Gulu in 2000.  Most of these people are trained in handling patients of Ebola and Marburg," she said. 
 
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, this is the first outbreak of Marburg in Uganda since 2008, when a Dutch tourist died after visiting a cave filled with bats.  But in terms of the number of fatalities, the current outbreak is the most severe in Uganda since the first reported cases in the 1960s.
 
The Marburg virus kills around 80 percent of those infected.  It is highly contagious, and is spread through contact with bodily fluids.  Symptoms of the virus include fever and headache, followed by a skin rash and, eventually, severe hemorrhaging.
 
Because Marburg is so contagious, local authorities in Kabale district have banned public gatherings, including school graduation ceremonies.  But Nakamatte says the Ministry’s advice is less extreme, calling on the public merely to exercise caution.
 
“We are not banning public gatherings, but we are calling them to minimize unnecessary gatherings," she said. 
 
Ugandan health authorities have formed a national task force to deal with the outbreak that includes the CDC and the World Health Organization.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid