A DEADLY outbreak of a rare and highly fatal virus has broken out in eastern Uganda and five cases have already been identified, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed.
The disease, known as Marburg virus disease (MVD), is similar to Ebola and can be lethal in up to 90 percent of cases.
Emergency screening has begun at the Kenya-Uganda border in Turkana after three members of the same family died of the disease in Uganda.
The outbreak is thought to have started in September when a man in his 30s, who worked as a game hunter and lived near a cave with a heavy presence of bats, was admitted to a local health centre with a high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.
He did not respond to antimalarial treatment and his condition rapidly deteriorated.
He was quickly taken to another hospital in the neighbouring district, but died shortly after arriving.
His sister, in her 50s, died shortly afterwards and a third victim passed away in the treatment unit of a local health centre.
The WHO website reads: "Marburg virus disease is a rare disease with a high mortality rate for which there is no specific treatment.
"The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons or wild animals (e.g. monkeys and fruit bats)."