Malawi on alert for Marburg virus disease

LILONGWE, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Health in Malawi has issued an alert on Marburg virus disease which has claimed five lives in Tanzania's northwest region of Kagera.

A statement signed Thursday by Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo, has warned Malawians to be observant and to avoid close physical contact with suspected Marburg patients.

The statement has also urged Malawians to avoid touching bodily fluids of suspected patients with bare hands, to wear gloves and appropriate personal protective gear when taking care of patients at home, and to practice hand washing with soap and water.

Mwansambo has assured Malawians that his ministry "has capacity in all points of entry to screen and detect all cases suspected of a disease of public health concern, including Marburg virus disease, and manage them according to standard guidelines."

The statement further said the ministry, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will continue to monitor the situation in Tanzania and in the region and update the public accordingly.

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