A total of 146 people are being monitored in Uganda for signs and symptoms of the Ebola-like Marburg virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.

wpid-62261574m0500268-colouredtemoftheebolavirus-spl.jpgThose being monitored are believed to have had contact with a Kampala hospital employee who died of the disease on September 28.

Eleven of the contacts developed signs compatible with the Marburg virus, but they tested negative for the disease, the WHO said in a statement, adding that second samples have been taken for further testing.

The WHO, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and US Centers for Disease Control are supporting Ugandan authorities to establish and strengthen treatment units, train health workers, supply protective equipment and stage information campaigns, the WHO said.

Named for the German town that experienced an epidemic of the disease in 1967, the Marburg virus begins with severe headaches and malaise. It causes heavy bleeding, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and, like Ebola, is transmitted through bodily fluids.

Fatality rates in Marburg outbreaks have varied from 25 per cent to more than 80 per cent, the WHO says.

The Marburg virus last occurred in Uganda in 2012, affecting five districts and killing nine people.

Uganda also has a history of Ebola outbreaks. The virus killed 224 people in the north of the country in 2000-01, 37 people near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007 and 17 people in the west of the country in 2012.


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