Deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever breaks out in Uganda

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The deadly Marburg hemorrhagic fever has broken out in Uganda after samples taken to the Uganda Virus Institute tested positive, a top government official said Sunday.

Elioda Tumwesigye, minister of state for health told reporters that one person has so far died and 80 others are being monitored in central Uganda and the western district of Kasese.

"The Ministry of Health would like to inform the country of an outbreak Marburg which has so far killed one person. Another person who has developed signs is being monitored," he said.

He said the index case died on Sept. 28 after developing signs of Marburg which was later confirmed by laboratory tests. The minister said the deceased's brother has also developed signs and is currently under isolation.

He added that all the people that had contact with them are being monitored.

The Marburg virus was last reported in Uganda in 2012.

According to the World Health Organization, Marburg is a severe and highly fatal disease caused by a virus from the same family as the one that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

According to the global health body, the illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with severe headache and malaise.

Case fatality rates have varied greatly, from 25 percent in the initial laboratory-associated outbreak in 1967, to more than 80 percent in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1998-2000, to even higher in the outbreak that began in Angola in late 2004.

Currently some West African states are facing a related disease- - Ebola -- which has left more than 3,000 people dead.

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