Marburg virus outbreak in Equatorial Guinea


  • Equatorial Guinea has confirmed its first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease, following the deaths of at least nine people in Kie-Ntem province.

Marburg virus?

  • The Marburg virus is part of the so-called filovirus family that also includes the Ebola virus, which has wreaked havoc in several previous outbreaks on the African continent.

    Marburg virus
    Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
  • It is a highly dangerous pathogen that causes severe fever that often includes bleeding.
  • The virus frequently targets several organs and reduces the body’s ability to function on its own.
  • There are no authorized vaccines or drugs to treat Marburg, but rehydration treatment to alleviate symptoms can improve the chances of survival. Depending on the strain and case management, the fatality rates for the virus range from 24% to 88%.
  • The rare virus was first identified in 1967 after it caused simultaneous outbreaks of disease in laboratories in Marburg, Germany and Belgrade, Serbia. Seven people died who were exposed to the virus while conducting research on monkeys.
  • The natural carrier of the Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, which carries the virus but does not fall sick from it.
  • But the animals can pass the virus to primates in close proximity, including humans. Human-to-human transmission then occurs through contact with blood or other bodily fluids.

Source: IE

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