Marburg death toll climbs to 117, WHO reacts

As of 29 March 2005, the Ministry of Health has reported a total of 124 cases and 117 deaths in Cabinda, Luanda and Uige. All these cases had originated in Uige Province. Ten of these cases have been laboratory confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA.

The team from WHO, including experts from the Inter-country programme for southern Africa, the Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) and from Headquarters, and partners in the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) are supporting the Ministry of Health, Angola to strengthen active surveillance and contact tracing.

Médecins sans Frontières (Belgium, France, Holland and Spain) are assisting with infection control and establishing isolation facilities in Uige hospital. Experts from the Department of Infectious Diseases, Manchester, United Kingdom and Johannesburg Hospital, South Africa are providing assistance in infection control in Luanda, where training will be provided for health care staff from all provinces in the country. The Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory will be setting up a mobile laboratory in Uige and CDC will be providing laboratory support in Luanda. UNICEF is carrying out social mobilization activities, raising awareness of the disease in the community and also providing additional logistic support and equipment.

Two travelers returning to Portugal from Angola were investigated for possible Marburg virus infection and laboratory results were negative in tests performed by the Bernard-Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany, a WHO Reference Laboratory.

From World Health Organization



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