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WHO says working to contain rare virus on Uganda

作者:ihpa.net 发布时间:2018-02-03

BUSIA, Kenya, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday its working to contain an outbreak of Marburg virus disease (MVD) that has appeared in eastern Uganda on the border with Kenya.

The UN health agency confirmed that at least one person has been confirmed to have died of MVD and several hundred people may have been exposed to the virus at health facilities and at traditional burial ceremonies in Kween District, a mountainous area 300 km northeast of Kampala.

"We are working with health authorities to rapidly implement response measures," WHO Regional Emergency Director for the Africa region, Ibrahima-Soce Fall said in a statement released on Friday.

The first case was rare virus detected by Uganda's ministry of health on Oct. 17, a 50-year-old woman who died at a health centre of fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea on Oct. 11.

The woman's brother had also died of similar symptoms three weeks earlier and was buried at a traditional funeral.

He worked as a game hunter and lived near a cave inhabited by Rousettus bats, which are natural hosts of the Marburg virus.

Laboratory testing at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed the cause of death as MVD.

"Uganda has previously managed Ebola and Marburg outbreaks but international support is urgently required to scale up the response as the overall risk of national and regional spread of this epidemic-prone disease is high," Fall said.

One suspected and one probable case are being investigated and provided with medical care. An active search for people who may have been exposed to or infected by the virus is underway.

A rapid response team has been sent to the area supported by staff from the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFNET).

WHO is providing medical supplies, guidance on safe and dignified burials, and has released 500,000 U.S. dollars from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to finance immediate response activities.

Marburg virus disease is a rare disease with a high mortality rate for which there is no specific treatment.

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