International Health Emergency Response plan on Marburg virus disease

International Health Emergency Response plan on Marburg virus disease

15 November 2017:- WHO has been implementing the Emergency Response Plan since 20 October 2017 when the Ministry of Health officially declared the outbreak. WHO released US$ 624 000 from the Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) to rapidly respond which has proven to help contain the outbreak.

The unique benefit of the CFE is that it can be used to rapidly mobilize, equip and deploy WHO and Global Health Emergency Workforce assets for control and containment of a disease outbreak. Therefore, extensive surveillance is currently on-going and there has been search for new cases and active contact tracing.

The Emergency Response Plan was developed on several assumptions which may now need to be revised. As of 8 November, the outbreak has had three cumulative cases which include one probable and two confirmed. Uganda and Kenya are following contacts in four different districts, and WHO cannot exclude the possibility of unknown chains of transmission given that the first Marburg case died on 25 September 2017 and his unsafe funeral was attended by more than 200 people from Uganda and Kenya. Not all the contacts from this funeral could be traced, allowing the possibility of unknown chains of transmission.

If there are no more alerts or cases in the next week, the 21-day contact tracing period will end by 16 November 2017. There will then be a further 21-day intensive surveillance period until 7 December 2017, and the human-to-human transmission of the Marburg outbreak could be declared stopped on 8 December 2017. Should there be no further cases, then according to the plan, an additional US$1.29 million is needed to run the tail end of the response. This covers the full response in Uganda, plus Social Mobilization in Kenya.


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