Marburg haemorrhagic fever in Uganda
As of 21 October 2012, the Ugandan authorities working with the World Health Organization have identified nine cases (including five deaths) due to Marburg haemorrhagic fever in Kitumba sub-county, Kabale district in South-western Uganda. An investigation into the cause of the outbreak is ongoing. Initial investigations suggest that these cases belong to the same family cluster and that there is no wider dissemination of the disease in the community.
Travellers to the affected area should be aware that Marburg virus can be carried by African fruit bats (but also by primates such as apes, monkeys and lemurs) and is transmitted through their bites or contact with their bodily fluids. Such animals (especially bats) should be avoided (they can also potentially transmit rabies through their bites). Bats can harbour Marburg virus and lyssavirus (responsible for rabies) without showing obvious signs of disease.
Further information on Marburg haemorrhagic fever can be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/marburg/qa.htm.