Uganda has controlled the outbreak of Marburg virus disease within weeks of its first detection, says the World Health Organisation (WHO)
Uganda has controlled the outbreak of Marburg virus disease within weeks of its first detection, says the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO was notified of the outbreak by the Ministry of Health on October 2017, after laboratory tests confirmed a fatality was caused by infection of the Marburg virus.
A Public Health Emergency Operations Centre was activated, with the response led by a national taskforce.
WHO deployed a rapid response team to the remote and mountainous area and released US$623,000 from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to provide immediate financial support.
There were three fatalities as the outbreak spread across the Kween and Kapchorwa districts in eastern Uganda.
Health workers followed up with 316 close contacts of patients in Uganda and Kenya, with check-ups after the 21 days of the virus’ incubation period and an additional 21 days of intensive surveillance.
WHO and its partners supported laboratory testing and surveillance measures, searching for new cases, establishing infection prevention and treatment measures in health facilities and engaging with communities.
Kenya’s Ministry of Health also carried out surveillance and contact tracing to prevent cross-border spread of the disease.
WHO’s Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti said: “Uganda has led an exemplary response.
“Health authorities and partners, with the support of WHO, were able to detect and control the spread of Marburg virus disease within a matter of weeks.”
Dr. Peter Salama, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said: “The response to the Marburg virus disease outbreak demonstrates how early alert and response, community engagement, strong surveillance and coordinated efforts can stop an outbreak in its tracks before it ravages communities.
“This was Uganda’s fifth MVD outbreak in ten years – we need to be prepared for the next one.”
Ugandan Minister of Health Sarah Opendi said: “As evidenced by the quick and robust response to the Marburg virus disease outbreak, we are committed to protecting people by ensuring that all measures are in place for early detection and immediate response to all viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks.”
Read More: Uganda’s Ministry of Health has confirmed the outbreak of the Marburg virus, a disease clinically similar to and part of the same Filoviridae family as Ebola, as reported by the Independent