55 people believed to have come into contact with a Marburg victim in Kween district have been placed under surveillance, the health minister Jane Ruth Aceng has said.
A 50-year-old woman from Chemuron village in Moyok parish in Moyok sub-county in Kween district died of Marburg on October 17.
Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) is caused by the Marburg virus, a rare but severe type of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, which affects both humans and non-human primates like monkeys and baboons.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday afternoon at the ministry of health headquarters, Aceng said that they have listed 55 people for a follow up as they could have come in contact with the deceased during the burial ceremony.
She says 13 of the 55 people have completed the 21 day follow-up from the time of the death of the probable case, while the rest remain still under close monitoring.
Aceng stated that Uganda has capacity to handle the outbreak and is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the neighbouring countries to contain the disease.
"The probable case that passed away, passed away on the 25th of September. The confirmed case passed away on the 13th of October. In between so many things could have happened that we don’t know. So until we have managed to round up people and follow them up for the 21 days and then another 21 days and there is nothing that is when we can be comfortable.
And in this particular case, the suspect case is the little child who came from another village, another sub-county but also had signs and symptoms similar to that of Marburg. That is a suspect case. The probable case in this case is a 42-year-old man who passed away when we did not take samples.", said the minister.
Aceng specifically warned people who are staying near forests and caves and across the borders to be very vigilant of their health and contacts.
Uganda will for the first time host the Global Health Security Agenda conference from October 25-27 at Common Wealth Resort Munyonyo with an aim of supporting countries to build their capacities to prevent, detect and respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and public health threats.
Aceng says for the first time the Global health Security Agenda conference is being held in a state with an active outbreak of an infectious and potentially highly fatal disease. She assured the delegates of their safety saying Kween district is more than 300km away from Kampala.
According to Aceng, although three isolation wards have been set up at Kapchorwa district hospital and Kaproron health center IV in Kween district to handle cases, they are currently empty as most of the contacts are being monitored from their homes.
Uganda registered a single Marburg in September 2014 involving a healthcare worker. The source of infection was not identified nor was there any secondary cases identified.