Marburg disease, yellow fever, and Hepatitis B confirmed

Friday October 19 2012

By Monitor Team

Uganda has again been hit by the deadly yellow fever, Marburg disease and Hepatitis B, health officials have confirmed.

A case of yellow fever was confirmed in the northern district of Agago, while in Kabale district, four members of the same family reportedly died of Marburg disease.

In Kabale, the District Health Officer Dr Patrick Tusiime said that some samples were taken from the bodies of the deceased persons for examination at the Uganda Virus Research Institute and it was established that Marburg virus was the cause of their death.

“It is in this family only and has not spread to any other households,” Dr Tusiime said.

Marburg hemorrhagic fever is a rare, severe type of hemorrhagic fever which affects both humans and non-human primates.

Yellow fever in North
In Agago, district officials say despite a mass vaccination against Yellow Fever in the past year, the disease has reoccurred.

The deadly disease, which doctors say can kill in one week, is recurring in Uganda after almost 40 years. It was last in Uganda in 1972.

The patient, admitted to Dr. Ambrosoli Hospital in Kalongo on September 24, was earlier suspected to be carrying Ebola virus but he instead tested positive for yellow fever.

Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected female mosquitoes.

Patients experience fever, muscle and back pain, headache, shivering, loss of appetite and vomiting. Some of the patients develop yellow eyes, abdominal pain and bleeding from the mouth, nose, eyes and stomach.

Dr. Emmanuel Otto, the Agago district Director of Health Officer (DHO) said, “The single case should not be treated as an outbreak, but we are still investigating, it should not panic the population,” Dr Otto said. He said a verification team has already been sent to monitor any new cases.

Hepatitis B confirmed in the East
In another incidence, at least 15 people in Ngora have been found to have contracted the Hepatitis B virus.

However, authorities across Teso are concerned that health facilities in the region are ill equipped to handle an outbreak if it occurred.

Kumi district health officer, Dr. John Opolot said chances of the disease spreading in Teso are higher particularly in the rural areas.

“Sharing of tubes while drinking Ajon, (a local millet brew) is enough to expose them to the risk of Hepatitis B. This should be discouraged,” said Dr. Opolot.

Hepatitis B is spread by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids.

According to district health officials in Soroti, two people have died while in Kaberamaido six people were found to be positive with the virus.

Robert Owo, Robert Muhereza and Richard Otim.
[email protected]