Results from Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe on a suspected Marburg Case reported in Moroto have turned negative.
Moroto district was on high alert following the mysterious death of Evelyn Auma, a 16-year-old pupil of Lia primary school in Katikekile Sub County. The primary-six pupil was rushed to Moroto Army Barracks HCIV on Tuesday night with signs akin to the Marburg virus, a highly virulent epidemic-prone disease associated with high case fatality rates. She died hours later and was hurriedly buried in Oyam district.
The death triggered panic from health officials drawing rapid precautionary measures within and outside Moroto Army Barracks. Medics and people who got in touch with the deceased were isolated and their movements restricted. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons or animals.
But Charles Onyang Omuddu, the District Health Educator Moroto said the results were negative to the deadly Marburg virus. He says the deceased suffered from a kidney disease.
Moroto Army Barracks HCIV has however maintained the hand washing facility at the quarter guard as health office continues to with surveillance. Emphasis has also been made on hygiene and sanitation which is still low in Moroto.
This was the first probable case of Marburg reported in Moroto since the Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Marburg virus in Kween district, Sebei sub-region on October 19.
This means Uganda has now completed the 21-day mandatory cycle since the death of the last confirmed Marburg victim reported in Kween district last month.
Therefore, as of Friday last week, all persons that might have been in contact with either the one probable or two confirmed cases, (all dead) are out of danger, having been followed up for any signs and symptoms of the deadly disease. A total of 230 contacts listed for follow up have since completed.
However, to declare the country completely free of the outbreak, the health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said Uganda has to complete another 21 days before it can be certain that the outbreak is completely under control.
“It is only then that the World Health Organisation (WHO) can give us a go ahead to say this particular outbreak has come to an end. However, despite no new cases, we have to continue with surveillance as the disease may not come from contacts, but a new case emerging from elsewhere, given that caves and fruit bats still exist,” she said.
Aceng made the remarks while receiving 10 motorcycles worth $32,000 (sh115m) from WHO at the ministry headquarters, to support surveillance activities in Kween and Kapchorwa districts.
The minister said the terrain and road network in both districts were a big challenge to the teams on ground, who could not quickly reach the affected communities with vehicles. She said motorcycles would ease the movements.
Dr Jack Abdoulie, the Acting WHO Representative in Uganda, commended the health ministry for mounting an effective outbreak response against the deadly Marburg virus.