February 9, 2009

First U.S. case of Marburg fever found

Health officials say they've treated the first known case of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in the United States.

An unidentified patient treated a year ago at Lutheran Medical Center in Denver was later found to have the disease, apparently contracting it in Uganda, the Rocky Mountain News reported Monday.

Hospital officials told the newspaper they are working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control to determine the risk to doctors and staff members who came in contact with the patient.

Marburg hemorrhagic fever is caused by a virus indigenous to Africa, is transmitted by contact with infected animals or the bodily fluids of infected humans. The News said the patient, who recovered, came into contact with fruit bats in Uganda, which are capable of harboring the Marburg virus.