East Africa On Alert After Tanzania Marburg Deaths
Kenya and Uganda have increased surveillance on their borders with Tanzania after the Marburg virus killed five people in the neighbouring country.
Report says high fever is a common symptom of the deadly Ebola-like virus, often followed by bleeding and organ failure.
Meanwhile, Uganda has ordered immediate screening and testing at its southern border.
While health teams have also been put on high alert at border crossings in the districts of Kyotera and Isingiro.
Kenya’s Health Director General, Patrick Amoth has advised members of the public to report any unusual increase in people who have a high fever and recently travelled to Tanzania.
“Such individuals are advised to immediately report to the nearest health facility for assessment and management,” Dr. Amoth said.
The outbreak in Tanzania was reported in the north-western Kagera region.
About 161 contacts have been traced and are being monitored. Officials are still tracing other people.
While out of the eight individuals who tested positive for the disease, five have died four of those being from the same family.
Report says Tanzania’s strategy to control the spread was praised by the World Health Organization, WHO.
Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea has confirmed eight more cases of the Marburg virus disease, which brings the total to nine since February when it was first declared.
WHO says on average the Marburg virus kills half of those infected.
The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads between humans through the transmission of bodily fluids.
Although there are no vaccines or treatments, those diagnosed are either given water orally or intravenously as doctors treat a patient’s specific symptoms.