The Ministry of Health has Friday declared Uganda free from the Marburg Virus Disease which broke out in the Eastern parts of Uganda in October.
The virus is suspected to have emanated from a 35-year-old herdsman from Kween district who had frequented bat infested caves for hunting missions. He died on September 25.
Two people are confirmed to have died out of the virus. The first confirmed case was a 50-year-old woman from Chemuron village in Kween district who presented with signs and symptoms of a viral haemorrhagic fever and died on October 13 at Kapchorwa Hospital.
Another confirmed case, a 38-year-old man, was the brother of the two previous cases and had been in close contact with the probable and confirmed cases.
On Friday the State Minister of Health for General Duties, Sarah Opendi announced that 42 days have elapsed without any new case since the last death was registered, which renders Uganda Marburg free.
“Today, marks 42 days since the death of the last confirmed case which occurred on October 26 2017, indicating that the MVD outbreak which occurred in Kween and Kapchorwa districts has been contained,” the Minister told journalists at Uganda Media Centre.
“MOH is therefore pleased to officially declare the country free from the Marburg Viral Disease,” she added.
The declaration comes after completion of 42 days of the post-MVD surveillance countdown period for the contacts of the last confirmed case, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement for declaring an end to an outbreak of any Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF).
Following the outvreak, the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) was immediately activated for response while district taskforces of Kween and Kapchorwa were alerted to trace all people suspected to have got into contact with the confirmed or probable cases.
According to the government, the total cost of the outbreak response was approximately Shs 3.5Billion, both in cash, services and material commodities from Government and partners.
The Ministry of Health has urged the public to reduce the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission by avoiding contact with wild bats, including visits to caves inhabited by bats.
It further appealed to the public to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission in the community by avoiding direct or close contact with suspected patients should any suspected cases occur.
Marburg virus disease is a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic fever that is spread through direct contact with body fluids such as blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.
A person suffering from Marburg presents with sudden onset of high-grade fever with any of the following symptoms: headache, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains and bleeding through body openings like the eyes, nose, gums, ears, anus and the skin.