WHO Issues Ugandan Bat Cave Warning

Posted on July 12, 2008

Marburg Virus

The BBC reports that the World Health Organization is warning people to avoid Ugandan caves with bats. The warning follows the death of a 40-year-old Dtuch woman who died after contracting the deadly Marburg virus. She contracted the virus in Uganda and died in a hospital after returning home to the Netherlands.

The woman, aged 40, died after being taken to hospital following her return to the Netherlands, health authorities there said.

They said she probably contracted the disease while visiting a Ugandan cave inhabited by fruit bats.

Marburg is a contagious disease that causes sudden bleeding and high fever.

There is no treatment or vaccine.

The largest outbreak occurred in 2004-2005 in Angola and killed more than 300 people.

No tourists are known to have previously contracted the disease.

There is no cure for the rare Marburg disease. Like the feared Ebola virus, Marburg is also a severe type of hemorrhagic fever. You can read a Faq about here on the CDC's website.

Photo: Negative stain image of an isolate of Marburg virus. Source: CDC

More from Science Space & Robots