October 2014 – UGANDA – Two new suspect cases of Marburg have been put in isolation at the national referral hospital Mulago. They did not have any contact with the health worker who died of Marburg on September 28th, which could suggest a 2nd outbreak may be festering. Three other suspected cases are in isolation camps in Ibanda and Entebbe and preliminary tests on them have so far turned out negative. Test will be re-administered. The Marburg virus is similar to the Ebola virus in more ways than one. They both cause illnesses marked by severe bleeding (haemorrhage), organ failure and, in many cases, death. The Marburg virus is a genetically unique zoonotic (transmissible from animal to man) RNA virus of the filovirus family. The five species of Ebola virus are the only other known members of the filovirus family. The reservoir host of Marburg virus is the African fruit bat which, when infected with the virus, do not to show obvious signs of illness.
Although, it is not clearly known of how the Marburg virus first got transmitted from its animal host to humans, it was discovered that in the two cases in Uganda in 2008, unprotected contact with infected bat faeces or aerosols were the most likely routes of infection. In some other outbreaks, persons who have handled infected non-human primates or have come in direct contact with their fluids or cell cultures have become infected. As soon as infection occurs, it leads to contracting the deadly Marburg Haemorrhagic Fever which has a high mortality. –NTV