National Services Scotland logo

fitfortravel

Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Marburg Virus in Uganda (Update 1)

25 Oct 2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported 5 cases of Marburg virus disease in Kween District up to 24 October 2017. Kween is a mountainous area about 300 km northeast of the capital, Kampala.

The first (confirmed) case to be identified was a 50 year old woman who died on 11 October, with symptoms of fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea. It is thought that several hundred people may have been exposed to the virus in healthcare facilities and during burial rites.

The dead woman's brother died following a similar illness three weeks earlier and is considered a probable case. He was a game hunter who lived near a colony of fruit bats, which are a natural host of Marburg virus.

Two healthcare workers and the brother of the first and second cases are considered suspected cases.

Advice for Travellers

Marburg is one of a number of viral haemorrhagic diseases occurring in Africa. The risk is low for most travellers unless living in very poor conditions. Transmission is not fully understood, however, bats may play a role. There is a risk of disease transmission in the healthcare setting or close contact with an infected person through direct contact with infected blood, secretions, semen or organs.