Sunday November 4 2012

Marburg isolation unit set up in Fort Portal

A medical team from the UVRI in Entebbe bury a seven-year-old boy suspected to have died after showing Marburg-like symptoms.

A medical team from the UVRI in Entebbe bury a seven-year-old boy suspected to have died after showing Marburg-like symptoms. This was at Kikube Village in Luweero District on Thursday. Photo by Dan Wandera 

By Geoffrey Mutegeki & Bridget Karungi

A Marburg isolation centre has been set up at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital following the death of a suspected Marburg victim.
The centre was set up on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Alisen Murorwa, a resident of Kiceri Village in Kasenda Sub-county, Kabarole District, died with symptoms similar to those of a Marburg virus.

He was vomiting blood and bleeding through the eyes and nose. Murorwa died in the general ward at the referral hospital causing panic among the health workers and patients.

Last week, Murorwa’s daughter, Mbabazi Amooti, 35, also died under unclear circumstances.
However, health workers are not sure if she had Marburg symptoms, since she did not die from the hospital.

Murorwa was buried on Thursday by health workers, despite resistance from his relatives and friends.

The District Health Officer, Dr Richard Mugahi, said the tests of the deceased were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe and they expected the results on Friday evening.

He said: “Health workers are still investigating if the deceased travelled to Kabale and Ibanda, where there has been an outbreak of Marburg.”
Health workers are also monitoring the friends and relatives of Murorwa and his wife who could have come into contact with him and that should the results turn out to be positive, they will be quarantined.

Meanwhile, authorities in Luweero District have set up a surveillance team at the District Medical Department to monitor the health situation at Kikube Village, Luweero Sub-county after a seven-year-old boy died on Wednesday shortly after complaining of fever and vomiting, which according to health officials, are some of the symptoms of the deadly Marburg virus.

The family of the deceased and residents of Kikube Village were ordered not to handle the body for burial and had to wait for more than 12 hours before a medical team from the UVRI arrived to take the specimen sample for testing and conduct the burial of the deceased. They also educated the residents on the safety measures the health department has proposed in case the specimen samples test positive.