The outbreak is thought to have begun in September when a man in his 30s, who worked as a game hunter and lived near a cave with a heavy presence of bats, was admitted to a local health center with a high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. The man’s condition deteriorated quickly and he failed to respond to antimalarial treatments. He died after being taken to another hospital, and a short time later, his sister in her 50’s also died of the same ailment.
Emergency screening has begun at the Kenya-Uganda border in Turkana after all three members of the same family died of the disease in Uganda. Health workers have been asked to work with communities to stop the deadly Marburg outbreak from devastating communities in the rural region.
Dr. Zabulon Yoti, a Technical Coordinator for Emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, said: “Community engagement is the cornerstone of emergency response.” He urged health officials to “work with the communities to build their capacity for success and sustainability” and develop a better understanding of the local customs and traditions.
Early symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and myalgia (muscle pain). Several hundred people have been exposed to the virus as officials worry this outbreak could spread rapidly into regions already devastated by the ongoing black death outbreak