Marburg virus disease


  • Ghana announced the country’s first outbreak of Marburg virus disease after two people who were not related died. The people who contracted the virus were not related and they were in different parts of the Ashanti region of Ghana. Fruit bats, known to be the carriers of the virus, are common in the Ashanti region.

What is Marburg virus disease?

  • First detected in 1967, when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever occurred simultaneously in laboratories in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, in what is now Serbia in cases that were linked to African green monkeys imported from Uganda.

    Marburg virus disease
    Source: WHO
  • Other cases have since been found in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, according to the World Health Organization.
  • A genetically unique zoonotic (animal-borne disease) RNA virus of the filovirus family.
  • The Marburg virus is the pathogen that causes Marburg virus disease in humans.
  • Rousettus aegyptiacus bats are considered natural habitats of the virus.
  • There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for the disease.
  • Hydrating patients and treating their specific symptoms can improve their chances of survival.
  • The disease is clinically similar to Ebola in its spread, symptoms and progression, although it is caused by a different virus.
  • In Marburg’s case, fruit bats are considered to be the hosts of the virus, although researchers say it does not cause them illness.
  • Even though it has not spread widely, Marburg has been deadly, with case fatality rates ranging from 24% to 88%, depending on which strain people contract and the management of cases.
  • Marburg virus can spread through direct contact with blood, secretions or other bodily fluids from infected people, according to WHO. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and materials like bedding or clothing.

What are the symptoms of Marburg virus disease?

  • Marburg can cause severe viral hemorrhagic fever, which interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. The incubation period ranges from two to 21 days, and symptoms begin abruptly with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise, according to WHO. Other symptoms can include muscle aches, diarrhea, nausea, lethargy and bleeding through vomit, feces and from other body parts.
  • Marburg is not contagious during the incubation period.
  • Mortality is very high And there’s no asymptomatic Marburg.

Source: IE

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