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Kenya, Uganda agree to fight deadly Marburg virus

By Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – Uganda and Kenya have signed a pact to jointly fight deadly Marburg virus outbreak at border of the two countries.

The pact signed on Tuesday in Kenya aims at strengthening collaboration through zonal committees to heighten surveillance and monitoring of movement of people across the borders.

Kenya was represented officials from Trans-Zoa Kenya, while Ugandan officials from Sebei sub-region, Bugusu and Busia represented Uganda. World Health organization officials also attended.

The committees will be coordinated at Busia on the Uganda side and Kitale Kenya respectively. The signing came after one person was admitted with the disease at Kaproron Health Center IV and another at Kapchorwa Hospital.

Dr. Godfrey Chemosi, the Acting Kween District Health Officer, says the suspected Marburg victim at Kaproron Health Center IV is a health worker.

He says they have dispatched blood samples from the health worker to Uganda Virus Institute (UVI) for examination.  The victim first presented with high fever, muscle pains and vomiting.

He however, says they were still trying to find link between the health worker and the- 50-year-old woman from Chemuron village in Moyok Parish in Moyok Sub County who succumbed to the deadly disease on October 17th, 2017.

John Bosco Opio, the acting Chief Administrative Officer Kapchorwa district who doubles as the spokesperson of the Marburg task Force in Kapchorwa, says one person is also admitted in the isolation unit at Kapchorwa hospital.

He says they are waiting for the results from the blood samples that were dispatched to Uganda Virus Institute (UVI) for examination.

Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) is caused by an infected animal, such as monkeys (baboon) or a fruit bat that passes the virus to a human. The virus then spreads from human to human by contact with an infected person’s body fluids. Its symptoms include; high fever, muscle pains, vomiting and bleeding through body openings like eyes, Nose, gum, anus and ears.

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