Monday, November 05, 2012

CDC Travelers’ Notice:The Ugandan Marburg outbreak



# 6698


The CDC’s  Travel Health division has posted an `In the News’ level Travel Notice – the lowest of four stages of  notices they issue (the others in order of increasing importance are Outbreak Notice, Travel Health Precaution, and Travel Health Warning), on the Marburg Virus outbreak ongoing in Uganda.




In the News Marburg in Uganda

This information is current as of today, November 05, 2012 at 13:05 EST

Released: November 02, 2012

What Is the Current Situation?

The Ugandan Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in the Kitumba subcounty of the Kabale and Ibanda Districts in southwestern Uganda.  As of October 28, 18 cases and 9 deaths have been reported. Nine of the cases are laboratory confirmed.


The city of Kabale is within several miles of the outbreak. Kabale is often a stopping point for people visiting both Lake Bunyonyi and the Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks, which are famous for mountain gorilla tracking. This city is also a transportation hub, with roads leading to both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


CDC is working closely with the Ugandan MOH and the World Health Organization (WHO) to control the outbreak. CDC does not recommend any travel restrictions at this time.


What Is Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever?

Marburg hemorrhagic fever (Marburg HF) is a rare and deadly disease. The virus that causes Marburg HF is thought to be carried by African fruit bats. Scientists do not know exactly how the virus is spread from bats to humans.  People have become infected by touching fluids or blood of infected people or infected monkeys. People in close contact with people who have the virus are at highest risk.


Symptoms include fever; headache; muscle aches; rash on the chest, back, or stomach; nausea; vomiting; chest pain; sore throat; abdominal pain; and diarrhea. Severe symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), severe weight loss, shock, massive internal bleeding, and failure of multiple internal organs.

How Can Travelers Protect Themselves?

There is no vaccine to prevent Marburg HF and no specific treatment for people who become ill. Although travelers are at low risk for the disease, it is important to take steps to prevent Marburg HF.

  • Practice good hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected people. Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
  • Avoid contact with bats, such as entering bat caves.
  • Avoid contact with other animals, especially monkeys. Health care workers who may be exposed to people with the disease should follow these steps:


Additional Information:

Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (CDC Viral Special Pathogens Branch)
Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (CDC Yellow Book)


Marburg virus - like its better known cousins the Ebola viruses – produce hemorrhagic fevers with a high fatality rate. 



The natural host for the Marburg virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, which can pass the virus on to other intermediate hosts, or directly to humans.


The red areas of the map above show the areas where Marburg is found in Africa, while the purple outline shows the range of the Pteropodidae fruit bat.


For earlier reports on this outbreak of Marburg virus you may wish to revisit:


WHO Update: Marburg Virus In Uganda

Uganda MOH: Update On Marburg Outbreak

Ugandan MOH Statement On Marburg Outbreak
Marburg Virus Reported In Western Uganda

No comments: