In a follow-up to the fatal case of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in Kampala, Uganda reported on Oct. 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports as of today, a total of 146 contacts have been identified and are being monitored for signs and symptoms compatible with MVD.

Marburg virus/Frederick Murphy
Marburg virus/Frederick Murphy

Eleven of the contacts developed signs and symptoms compatible with Marburg virus disease. All samples from symptomatic contacts have tested negative so far. Second samples have been taken from them and are being tested at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

In addition, one contact, Kenyan mortician who traveled back to Kenya, developed a fever and cough but tested negative for both Marburg and Ebola virus.

Uganda, who has battled numerous outbreaks of both Marburg virus and Ebola virus since the turn of the century, has activated the National Task Force which is meeting regularly and sub-committees have been established.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) said Thursday they were mobilizing its teams in preparation for a response.

“As with Ebola, there’s no vaccine and no treatment other than supportive care (rehydration, stabilising blood pressure, reducing the fever, administering pain-killers and antiemetics),” explains Dr Estrella LASRY, MSF’s adviser on tropical diseases. “The last Marburg epidemic in Uganda was in 2012. It lasted just over two months. There were 20 cases and 45% of them were fatal.  That same year there were also 2 Ebola epidemics in the country”.

The case-fatality rate for Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreaks is between 23-88%. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page