The Marburg Virus in Uganda.

2017-10-27 10:48:34 / / Translated by: JC Caballero

The Marburg Virus in Uganda.

The Ugandan Health Ministry recently confirmed the existence of a case of the Marburg virus which is a similar pathology to the Ebola one that caused the death of thousand of people in Western Africa three years ago.

In 2014, that nation from eastern Africa had an outbreak of that disease that caused dozens of deaths.

The AP news agency reported that a woman from that nation died as a consequence of it. The related tests carried out to her corpse were positive to the Marburg virus. Jane Ruth Aceng, who is the local Ministry of health, announced.

The Marburg Virus in Uganda

“The patient died on October 17th after showing similar symptoms and her brother seems to have been a hunter and he used to practice his occupation inside caves with lots of bats. However, there were not tests carried out to his mortal remains before his death. ” The ministry said to the journalists in Kampala capital.

“The Marburg fever is capable to spread throughout wide zones and affecting many people, especially the health workers and people who are looking after other victims of that disease.” Jane Ruth Aceng explained.

The Marburg fever usually begin in animals such as the monkeys and bats and infecting the human beings who infect one another through the body-fluid contact.

The Marburg Virus in Uganda

Data and related Numbers

According the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • The Marburg virus causes the serious hemorrhagic fever in the human being.
  • The dead toll of the outbreaks of the hemorrhagic Marburg fever has ranged between 24% and 88%.
  • The bats are regarded as the natural guests of the Marburg virus. They are the bats of the Rousettusaegypti fruit from the Pteropodidae related family. The virus is transmitted from the bats of the fruits into the human beings and it is spread between people.

The abovementioned virus is the causal agent of the FHM which is a disease of which the dead toll can reach the 88%. The FHM was first identified in 1967 after some simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt (Germany) and Belgrade (Serbia).

The Marburg and Ebola viruses are the members of the Filoviridae related family and in spite that they are caused by the different viruses. The two diseases are similar from a clinic point of view.


Two big outbreaks occurred in Marburg and Frankfurt (Germany) and Belgrade (Serbia) simultaneously in 1967. The disease was then first identified and the outbreak was then linked to laboratory works with African green monkeys ( Cercopithecusaethiops) imported from Uganda.

There have been some outbreaks after that and some sporadic ones in Angola, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa through a person who had travelled to Zimbabwe and Uganda recently.

In 2008, there were two independent cases which were notified about some travelers who had visited a cave with come colonies of Rousettus bats in Uganda.

The Marburg Virus in Uganda


Originally, that human infection occurs due to a long exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bats colonies.
The virus transmission happens person to person through a close contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body liquids from the infested people.

The funerary ceremony where the mourners have a direct contact with the corpse could cause a main role in relation to Marburg virus transmission. There could be a transmission of up to 7 weeks after the clinic recovery.

The incubation period and the appearance of its symptoms range between 2 to 21 days. That disease caused by the Marburg virus start suddenly with high fever, internal migraine and cramps. The muscular pains are frequent and the intense and watery diarrhea might, along with pain and abdominal colic, nauseas and vomits.

By Ana Teresa Badía

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