The extremely rare and deadly Marburg virus has appeared in African Tanzania. This is the first time it is created there. Of the eight patients who developed symptoms in the northwest region of Kagera, five have since died.
Marburg virus is the so-called viral hemorrhagic fever, just like Ebola. This is an infectious disease that makes people very sick and can die from it. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting, severe headache, bleeding, and kidney failure. 88% of infected patients do not survive.
The virus is transmitted to humans by fruit bats. It then spreads between people through contact with bodily fluids and contaminated surfaces. It takes about seven days before symptoms appear. A vaccine does not exist. The most important thing is to isolate the sick as soon as possible and to trace all the people they have been in contact with to prevent further spread.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a health worker was among the dead. The three patients who survived the infection are still receiving treatment. 161 contacts of patients are being monitored for symptoms.
“The efforts of the health authorities in Tanzania to identify the cause of the disease is a clear indication of their determination to respond to the outbreak in an effective manner,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We are working with the government to quickly scale up control measures and stop the spread of the virus.”
The first outbreak of Marburg virus was detected in the Central African Republic of Equatorial Guinea last month. Eleven people have since died of the disease.
The virus has previously appeared in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana. Neighboring countries, Kenya and Uganda, are very vigilant after the outbreak in Tanzania.
The virus got its name from the German city of Marburg, where it was discovered in 1967. This happened after laboratory workers fell ill after contact with infected monkeys from Uganda.
No vaccines, no treatment and up to 90% risk of death: the Marburg virus outbreak worries WHO (+)
Did the coronavirus come from a bat or a Chinese lab? America and China do not agree (+)
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