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Trans Nzoia issues alert over Marburg disease outbreak

Mwangi Willy @PeopleDailyKe

Health officials in Trans Nzoia have issued an alert after a reported Marburg disease outbreak in Uganda. All government officials have been ordered to sensitise residents about the disease after reports emerged that some patients from the neighbouring country have been visiting herbalists in the area for treatment.

The new development comes after reports emerged that a Ugandan national allegedly suffering from the disease visited a herbalist, Fridah Etyang’ at Bwayi village in Kaisagat location in Kwanza constituency to seek medication.

At least one person is confirmed to have died and hundreds of others may have been exposed to the virus at health facilities and at traditional burial ceremonies in Kween District, a mountainous area 300 kilometres northeast of Kampala.

Marburg is a severe and highly fatal disease caused by the Marburg virus from the Filoviridae family; the same family as the Ebola virus. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons or wild animals.

Area Governor Patrick Khaemba yesterday called on health officials to join hands with other agencies to ensure the spread of the disease is contained.“We want to ensure that all health officers are on duty to manage any outbreak,” he said.

Trans Nzoia County Public health officer Norbert Musundi said they are doing everything possible to minimise the spread adding that no casualty has been reported so far.

According to Kitale County Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Emmanuel Wanjala, this is the first incidence to be reported in Trans Nzoia saying it is being treated as a special case as efforts to mobilise and sensitise the community continue. Residents have accused the government of doing little to control the entry of foreigners through Suam border point.

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