The World Health Organization says an outbreak of deadly Marburg fever in Angola has claimed 127 lives, the highest number of fatalities from the rare virus.

However, a spokeswoman for the U.N. agency, Fadela Chaib, said Friday the outbreak can be controlled if people suspected of infection are put in isolation and all their contacts are identified.

The WHO also announced that hospital staff in Italy have put nine patients in isolation, suspected of having had contact with a sufferer in Angola.

So far, 132 cases of Marburg have been reported, mainly in Angola's northwestern Uige province. Two deaths occurred in the capital, Luanda.

Marburg virus is a severe form of hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola - and is spread through contact with bodily fluids. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting and bloody discharges.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.