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Marburg virus in Uganda kills 2

It’s the country's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like pathogen in three years.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Two people have died from the Marburg virus in eastern Uganda.

It’s the country's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like pathogen in three years.

The Marburg virus is one of the deadliest known pathogens.

Like Ebola, it is a haemorrhagic fever, it causes severe bleeding, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Earlier on Thursday, the Ugandan health minister confirmed one case of Marburg virus.

Jane Ruth Aceng told reporters at a news conference in capital Kampala that the case, which led to a fatality, had been confirmed after a series of tests were carried out.

The victim, a 50-year old woman, died on 11 October at a hospital in eastern Uganda after “she presented with signs and symptoms suggestive of viral haemorrhagic fevers”, the minister said.

The woman had nursed her 42-year old brother who died on 25 September with similar signs and symptoms and also participated in the cultural preparation of the body for burial, she added.

The brother had been “a hunter who carried out his activities where there are caves with a heavy presence of bats,” Aceng said.

The African fruit bat is the reservoir host of the Marburg virus although infected bats do not show obvious signs of the disease.

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