A one-and-half-year old boy has reportedly died of Marburg virus at Ruhoko Hospital in Ibanda District.
The District Health Officer, Dr Julius Bamwine, on Thursday confirmed to Saturday Monitor that the victim, only identified as Alexander, died on Wednesday night. “I can confirm to you that one of the victims from Kikyenkye, who had tested positive to Marburg virus died last night. He is a son to Mr Mande who lost his wife to the same disease recently,” Mr Bamwine said. The baby becomes the second person from Ibanda to die of the virus but the ninth to succumb to the killer virus in the region.
The Health ministry confirmed the Marburg outbreak a month ago in the western district of Kabale. It has since spread to three other districts in Western Uganda. Alexander’s mother, Rosette Katusiime, died of the virus at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital on October 23. Her husband had also tested positive.
The boy was admitted at Rukoho Hospital with other four suspected cases last week.
The number of suspected cases has since gone up to 12. Dr Bamwine said they are in the process of discharging eight people who have tested negative while four still remain under surveillance as they wait for their results from Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe.
At Mbarara hospital, the three suspected cases admitted last week have tested negative and been discharged but two more cases were on Wednesday admitted with symptoms similar to those of the Marburg virus.
“We have two male suspected Marburg patients; one is from Kisenyi in Kakoba Division, Mbarara Town. He had severe nasal bleeding while the other is from Rwampara County in Mbarara. He was vomiting and passed stool with blood,” said Ms. Eugenia Namulindwa, the in-charge of the isolation unit.
Seven other people have died of Marburg Virus in Kabale District since October 19 and two are positive and remain admitted at Rushoroza Isolation Centre.
Marburg hemorrhagic fever is a rare, severe type of hemorrhagic fever which affects both humans and non-human primates. The virus is reported to be transmitted through bodily fluids like saliva and blood of an infected person, along with getting in touch with infected wild animals such as monkeys.