A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20121105.1392660
Date: Sun 4 Nov 2012
Source: Examiner.com [edited]
With the Marburg virus disease outbreak spreading in Uganda, now being reported from 5 districts in the African country, [U.S.] federal health officials have issued an advisory for travelers to Uganda, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notice [dated 2 Nov 2012; see below]
The Uganda Ministry of Health officially declared an outbreak on 19 Oct 2012. As of 28 Oct 2012, a total of 18 cases and 9 deaths, including a health worker, have been reported from 5 districts namely Kabale district, in southwestern Uganda, Kampala (the capital city), Ibanda, Mbarara, and Kabarole. 9 of the cases are laboratory confirmed. This represents a case-fatality rate of 50 percent. Currently, 13 patients have been admitted to hospital (2 in Kampala, 8 in Kabale, 3 in Ibanda) and their contacts are listed for daily follow up.
The CDC notes that the city of Kabale is often a stopping point for tourists visiting both Lake Bunyonyi and the Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks, which are famous for mountain gorilla tracking. Although health officials are not recommending any travel restrictions at this time, and the risk for travelers is low, they do offer the following recommendations for travelers to protect themselves from Marburg [virus disease]:
– Practice good hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected people. Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
– Avoid contact with bats, such as entering bat caves.
– Avoid contact with other animals, especially monkeys.
Symptoms of Marburg virus infection include headache; muscle aches; rash on the chest, back, or stomach; nausea; vomiting; chest pain; sore throat; abdominal pain; and diarrhea. Severe symptoms include jaundice, severe weight loss, shock, massive internal bleeding, and failure of multiple internal organs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers’ Health [edited]