Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever Confirmed in Kampala

U.S. Embassy Kampala, Uganda

Security Message for U.S. Citizens:
Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever Confirmed in Kampala

October 6, 2014

On October 5, 2014 the Uganda Ministry of Health confirmed the death of a health care worker diagnosed with Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever in Kampala.  Laboratory investigations have confirmed Marburg virus in this case.  The Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and international partners are investigating the case to determine the extent of the outbreak and if additional cases are present.

Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever is a rare, severe type of hemorrhagic fever that affects both humans and non-human primates.  The virus that causes the disease is in the same family as Ebola virus and is transmitted among people in similar ways. A person suffering from Marburg presents with sudden onset of high fever with headache, chills and body aches.  Around the fifth day after the onset of symptoms, a rash (most prominent on the chest, back, or stomach) may occur.  Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea then may appear. Symptoms become increasingly severe and may include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction.  Like Ebola Virus Disease, Marburg virus may be spread through direct contact with body fluids like saliva, urine or blood of an infected person or the body of someone who has died from the disease.  Since the virus spreads through direct contact with blood and other body secretions of an infected person, people living with and caring for Marburg patients are at a high risk of getting infected.  Additionally, people who have close contact with African fruit bats or sick non-human primates infected with Marburg virus are at risk.

U.S. Citizens should exercise caution if visiting or working in areas where the disease is known to be present and immediately report to the nearest health facility if they think they have been exposed or are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the disease.  Additional information regarding Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/marburg/.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Uganda enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.  Read the Country Specific Information for Uganda.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can stay in touch and get updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Kampala website.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy is located at Plot 1577 Ggaba Road. Contact information for the U.S. Embassy in Kampala is: phone number +256 (0) (414) 306 001 and email KampalaUSCitizen@state.gov.