CDC assists in public health response to Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Angola
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CDC assists in public health response to Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Angola

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      The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health of Angola and other partners, is working to help control the Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Uige Province in northern Angola. On March 25, 2005, CDC began posting outbreak notices and updates on its Web site ( to inform travelers, airline personnel, and U.S. citizens living abroad about the outbreak. CDC continues to provide on-site diagnostic services, hospital support and training, field investigation assistance, scientific information, and updates to travelers, businesses, and humanitarian workers in and around the affected area.

      On March 21, the Special Pathogens Branch at CDC confirmed the presence of Marburg virus in 9 of 12 laboratory specimens from patients who died during the outbreak. CDC personnel have joined with WHO as part of the international response to assist with epidemiologic investigation, infection control, and laboratory diagnosis. CDC personnel in Atlanta continue to provide laboratory and scientific support to Angola’s Ministry of Health and to countries bordering Angola.

      CDC personnel in Uige Province, Angola, are working to provide infection-control support in the Uige Provincial hospital and training to health-care workers on appropriate practices to keep them safe and to prevent spread of infection to other patients; establish a screening ward to evaluate suspect Marburg patients as they arrive at the hospital; assist in identifying cases and contacts, ensuring that contacts are followed and promptly hospitalized if they have signs of illness and in maintaining an epidemiologic database to track case-patients and contacts; assist in efforts to educate persons in the community about the disease and how to protect themselves and their families.

      CDC’s Special Pathogens Branch has established a field laboratory in Luanda, Angola to provide prompt laboratory confirmation of suspect Marburg cases in Angola and neighboring countries. This temporary laboratory, which has been set up in the Angolan Institute for Public Health, has the capacity to detect Marburg viral antigen and viral nucleic acid and specific antibodies against Marburg virus in blood specimens.

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