Uganda’s health ministry yesterday confirmed a second fatal Marburg virus case, involving the 38-year-old brother of the country’s first lab-confirmed case-patient.
Also, health officials reported another suspected case and a new probable case, both of whom are isolated and in stable condition.
Third death in family
The man, who is from Kween district, is listed as Uganda’s second confirmed case and is the brother of both the woman listed as the first lab-confirmed case and a man who died from similar symptoms but, because no samples were taken, is listed as a probable case.
According to earlier reports, the 38-year-old brother had driven his sister to the hospital, where she died from her Marburg infection. Given the man’s connections to his sick sister and brother, the health ministry listed him as a high-risk contact, but he went into hiding and refused evaluation and follow-up, despite several attempts from surveillance teams.
On Oct 24, he agreed to speak with a contact tracer, who determined the man had Marburg symptoms, and he was taken to an isolation center with fever, weakness, abdominal pain, appetite loss, joint pain, and a history of vomiting blood. Despite treatment, he died from his infection yesterday, and his blood sample tested positive for Marburg virus in tests done at the Uganda Virus Research Center.
Results awaited on 2 more possible cases
The health ministry said a 25-year-old woman from neighboring Kapchorwa district sought evaluation for Marburg-like symptoms and was isolated, where medical staff collected a blood sample. Another tests revealed that she is pregnant. Uganda’s health ministry has classified her illness as a suspected case.
Also, the ministry announced a new probable case, a 23-year-old man from Kapchorwa district who had shared a hospital ward and had a bed next to one of the confirmed cases. The patient has been placed in isolation, and his test results are expected today.
Overall, the health ministry has recorded two confirmed, four suspected, and three probable cases. Earlier tests have ruled out six Marburg infections, including in two health workers.
As of yesterday, health officials are monitoring 130 contacts, an increase of 25 from the day before; 85 are from Kween district and 45 are from Kapchorwa district. Thirty-two earlier contacts from Kapchorwa district are no longer being followed, because they have completed the recommended 21-day period or because people they were exposed to tested negative for Marburg virus.
Oct 26 Uganda health ministry statement
Oct 25 CIDRAP News scan “Uganda’s Ministry of Health reports 1 confirmed, 1 suspected Marburg case“
Author: Lisa Schnirring
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