Following the confirmation of a case of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in Kween district Eastern Uganda by Ministry of Health (MoH) and the activation of the National Response Team, the WHO country office Rapid Response team reached the epicentre to contain the outbreak.
The MVD resembles Ebola Virus Disease in terms of transmission and presentation meaning its containment is a race against time for local and international health workers currently battling the outbreak.
Surveillance, contact tracing and listing as well as active case search are going on undertaken by health workers from the MoH and the district health team with guidance and support from WHO.
As of 21st October, the team had listed 53 contacts who are being monitored and followed up daily for support and care should they develop sign and symptoms.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday afternoon at the ministry of health headquarters, the health minister Jane Ruth Aceng 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.
The major challenge for the team has been locating a high risk suspected case – a brother to the confirmed case who transported her to the hospital and the body back home for burial who disappeared on learning that he was needed for monitoring.
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
Aceng says 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.