Kampala (AFP) - Uganda's health ministry said Monday it was monitoring eight people suspected of having contracted the Ebola-like Marburg virus, after one person they'd been in contact with died.
"A total of eight people who earlier got into contact with the Marburg confirmed case have developed signs of the disease," the ministry said in a statement.
"Preparations are under way to quarantine the suspects as a preventative measure."
A hospital technician has died of the Marburg virus in Kampala on Sunday.
The man, aged 30, died in the Mengo hospital where he worked in the capital of the east African country on September 28, 11 days after falling ill, the authorities said.
The Marburg virus is one of the most deadly known pathogens. Like Ebola, it causes severe bleeding, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.
The virus has a 21-day incubation period.
Like Ebola, the Marburg virus is transmitted via contact with bodily fluids and fatality rates range from 25 percent to 80 percent.
Uganda's Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said the government could deal with any outbreak.
"Uganda has previously successfully handled similar situations of health threats involving hemorrhagic fevers," he said Sunday.
A Marburg outbreak in Uganda in October 2012 killed 10 people, about half of those who were confirmed infected with the disease.
The Ebola epidemic that has been raging in west Africa has so far claimed almost 3,500 lives, with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone worst hit.
Researchers announced in August that a drug developed by Canada's Tekmira Pharmaceuticals helped monkeys survive the deadly Marburg infection in tests.