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HomeHealthVideo: Deadly Marburg Disease, with 90% Mortality, Breaks in Tanzania, WHO Says...

Video: Deadly Marburg Disease, with 90% Mortality, Breaks in Tanzania, WHO Says Over 100 Feared ‘Infected’

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Credit CDC Marburg_Virus

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Thursday that there have been eight additional confirmed cases of Marburg disease in Equatorial Guinea. Since the outbreak of the deadly disease similar to Ebola was declared in February, there have been a total of 20 probable cases and nine laboratory-confirmed cases. Twenty deaths have been reported. Tanzania has declared its first outbreak of the Marburg virus disease (MVD), after five fatalities and three other cases were reported at a hospital in its Kagera region. Over 100 people are feared to have been infected by MVD.

Ebola-like Marburg causes fever, major bleeding, and vomiting from the eyeballs, nose, and gums. It is endemic to areas of central Africa including Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kenya has reportedly experienced it previously as well. However, the new outbreak occurs just a month after Equatorial Guinea experienced the first Marburg virus outbreak on the opposite side of the continent.

 

The WHO said in a statement that of the eight new cases, two were reported from the Kie-Ntem province of the Central African nation, four from the Litoral province, and two from the Centre-Sur province. About 150 kilometers separate the areas reporting the cases, suggesting a wider spread of the virus, according to the WHO. Marburg virus disease is a viral hemorrhagic fever with a fatality rate that can reach almost 90%.

According to the World Health Organization, 161 people have been identified as being at risk of infection through contact tracing. The government has deployed an emergency response team to the area and neighboring countries have stepped up surveillance. No cases have yet been documented outside Kagera.

 

Symptoms include fever, fatigue and blood-stained vomit, and diarrhea. By contacting towels or other items that have encountered an infected person, people can also contract the disease.

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Before symptoms appear, the Marburg virus can reportedly incubate in an infected person for two to 21 days. However, when warning signs do appear, they initially resemble those of other tropical diseases like Ebola and malaria. There are no approved vaccines or antiviral medications to treat it. Last month, neighboring Cameroon discovered two possible cases of Marburg disease despite limiting border crossings to prevent its spread.

The WHO has labeled the Marburg virus as “epidemic-prone,” and hailed it as the next major pandemic threat. It can also spread between people through contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. The virus can jump into humans from fruit bats that are found throughout central Africa.

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