NOV 09, 2017 12:34 PM PST

The Marburg Virus Outbreak in Uganda

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Hertrich

So far, Marburg virus (MDV) has killed three people in the Keen district, eastern Uganda and it is predicted that several hundred people have been exposed. Those exposed had attended the traditional burial ceremony of a community member who died of an MDV infection. The first case was reported by the Ministry of Health on October 17th of a 50 year old women who had died at a health center and was experiencing fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea. Laboratory testing at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed the cause of death as attributed to MDV.

The woman's brother had also died and suffered similar symptoms several weeks before. Her brother was a hunter and lived near a cave inhabited by Rousettus bats which are the natural host of the Marburg virus. There is currently an active search underway for other persons who were possibly exposed to the virus. The Ministry of Health has deployed a rapid response team to the area including members of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFNET).

Sources: TIME, WHO
About the Author
  • I am a postdoctoral researcher with interests in pre-harvest microbial food safety, nonthermal food processing technologies, zoonotic pathogens, and plant-microbe interactions. My current research projects involve the optimization of novel food processing technologies to reduce the number of foodborne pathogens on fresh produce. I am a food geek!
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