Marburg Virus Disease

11 Apr 2023

Marburg Virus Disease

Dear Students and Parents,

cc National Committees,

I hope that you are all enjoying the last week of the April break. As you think of returning to school, it seems prudent to update you on what we know about the Marburg Virus Disease outbreak in Tanzania. 

Since the initial outbreak was confirmed, there have been no reports of futher cases. In my last message I said that the outbreak appears to have been contained, this is still the case. The Department of Health continues to follow up close contacts.

Whilst this is all very good news, at school we will continue to take a precautionary approach as we welcome students back to campus and our initial response remains. I copy it below for your information.

School response

  • No student or staff member should travel to Kagera or the wider Lake Victoria region unless they are returning home to family for the vacation. Sanctions against individuals ignoring this will be severe.
  • If traveling home to the region around Lake Victoria, students must inform their Head of Residential Life or Head of Campus. Staff will then liaise with parents as required.
  • The greatest risk to students and staff is in secondary infection. Whilst Marburg is not an airborne disease (and therefore unlike Covid in this respect), travelling on public transport is the greatest potential risk.
  • Private vehicles are preferred, then planes, then trains and finally buses. Travel by public bus in Tanzania is generally not advised due to the high number of road accidents and it is advisable to look to use other forms of transport wherever possible.
  • It is possible for a group of people travelling together to hire a bus with a driver privately. Generally, these buses tend to be better maintained and drivers do not drive so quickly.
  • Anyone who cannot travel by private vehicle, plane or train MUST use the following companies:  to Dar: Kilimanjaro Bus 0767213231, BM 0673157761 or Tahmeed 0754085258, to Tanga: Tahmeed 0754085258. The school has established that these travel directly between Arusha/Moshi and the east coast of Tanzania (Tanga, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar).

I thank everyone for taking this recent outbreak seriously and look forward to the final weeks of the school year. The fourth quarter is always exciting but tinged with sadness as it is when we have students and staff leave the school. I look forward to celebrating with students and parents at the upcoming events.

Warm regards,

Anna Marsden