Uganda will today start screening all individuals coming into the country through Uganda – Tanzania border following a confirmed case of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in the neighboring country. 

  Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health said top officials in the ministry held a meeting yesterday and resolved that screening starts at Kasensero, Kikagati, and Mutukula border points. 
Ainebyoona says some of the mobile laboratories that were recently being used in Mubende and Kassanda during the recent Ebola outbreak in the country will be moved to the border to ensure that screening and sample collection are swiftly done. 

According to a statement released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday,  Tanzania’s National Public Health Laboratory analyzed samples to determine the cause of illness after eight people developed symptoms including fever, vomiting, bleeding, and renal failure in Tanzania’s north-west Kagera region.

Five of the eight cases, including a health worker, have died and the remaining three are receiving treatment. A total of 161 contacts have been identified and monitored. However, while this is Tanzania’s first-ever Marburg Disease Outbreak, Uganda has had multiple outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever. Like Ebola which the country has just defeated, Marburg which is believed to be spread by monkeys and bats is transmitted through direct contact with blood, secretions, and other bodily fluids of an infected person or animal and it is very contagious.
The first outbreak was reported in the 1960s in Marburg Germany where scientists were conducting a study that involved monkeys from Uganda.


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