WHO helps contain new outbreak of Ebola-like virus on Kenya-Uganda border

| Updated Oct 21, 2017 at 7:18pm


A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) takes an oral sample from a patient suspected of having Marburg haemorrhagic fever. (file/May 2005) Photo: WHO/Christopher Black.


The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it was working with Ugandan authorities and other agencies to contain an outbreak of Marburg virus disease (MVD); an illness that produces symptoms similar to the deadly Ebola virus.

A 50-year-old women who was taken to a health centre on Tuesday, is confirmed to have died of MVD in Kween District, a mountainous area on the border with Uganda and Kenya.

Symptoms included fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea.

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

He lived in a cave inhabited by Rousettus bats, which are known hosts of the Marburg virus.

Several hundred people are believed to have been exposed as a result of the outbreak, said WHO.

The agency said it was providing medical supplies, advice on safe burials, and has released US$500,000 from contingency funds.

"The teams have already investigated the area, have identified potential contacts of the deceased case, and are monitoring these contacts. So we are getting daily updates from the teams and we are confident that with this rapid support from partners, we will be able to contain it very quickly." WHO's Regional Emergency Director for Africa, Ibrahima-Soce Fall.