Marburg Disease: The World Health Organization (WHO) recently said that Guinea has confirmed West Africa’s first case of Marburg disease.
- Marburg disease is a lethal virus that’s related to Ebola and, like Covid-19, passed from animal hosts to humans.
- This virus, which is carried by bats has a fatality rate of up to 88 %.
- The virus was found in samples taken from a patient who died on August 2 in southern Gueckedou prefecture.
- The discovery comes just two months after the WHO declared an end to Guinea’s second outbreak of Ebola, which started last year and claimed 12 lives.
- Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said that the potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide needed to stop it in its tracks.
- WHO considers the threat “high” at the national and regional level, but “low” globally.
- Previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- But this is the first time the virus has been detected in West Africa.
About Marburg Virus:
- Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses.
- It is a member of the species Marburg marburgvirus, genus Marburgvirus.
- Marburg virus causes Marburg virus disease in humans and other primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever.
- The Marburg virus is usually associated with exposure to caves or mines housing colonies of Rousettus bats.
- The virus is considered to be extremely dangerous.
- Once caught by a human, it is spread through contact with bodily fluids of infected people, or with contaminated surfaces and materials.
- The disease begins suddenly, with a high fever, severe headache, and discomfort.
- Although there are no approved vaccines or antiviral treatments, oral or intravenous rehydration and treatment of specific symptoms improve survival rates.