Urgent warning to be alert for Marburg virus symptoms – as Ebola-like bug has 90% kill rate | The Sun

THOSE travelling to countries affected by the Marburg outbreak have been warned to check themselves for key symptoms.

The Marburg virus is an infectious disease that has an 90 per cent fatality rates and, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), has epidemic potential. 

Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania are facing their first known outbreaks of Marburg bug, a viral fever with uncontrolled bleeding that closely resembles it's cousin, Ebola.

Some 34 people in Africa have died of Marburg since February 2023, reports suggest.

And the WHO has said the “the risk of international spread cannot be ruled out”.

This week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged travellers to both countries to avoid contact with sick people and to watch for symptoms for three weeks after leaving the area.

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Travelers to Equatorial Guinea – where the most cases have been reported – should take enhanced precautions and avoid nonessential travel to the provinces where the outbreak is ongoing, the agency said.

Other countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait have urged travellers to avoid visiting the two countries altogether.

While Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam, has implemented compulsory screening for those people arriving from African countries.

Equatorial Guinea, on the coast in West Africa, declared an outbreak of Marburg virus disease in mid-February with cases spread across multiple provinces.

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As of March 22, Equatorial Guinea had 13 confirmed cases and 20 probable cases.

Of the confirmed cases, nine have died, while all probable cases are dead, the WHO said in a statement.

Tanzania, on the coast in East Africa, declared an outbreak of Marburg virus disease on March 21, according to the CDC.

As of March 22, Tanzania has had eight confirmed cases, including five deaths.

Last week, A mysterious 'nosebleed' disease has claimed the lives of three people in Burundi, west Africa.

The symptoms appear to point towards some sort of viral haemorrhagic fever, which damages the walls of tiny blood vessels making them leak, such as Marburg and Ebola.

However the Burundian Ministry of Health has already ruled out both illnesses.

What are the symptoms of Marburg?

Symptoms can vary depending on how long you’ve had the bug

After two days:

  • fever
  • chills
  • headache
  • myalgia

After five days:

  • chest rash
  • jaundice
  • inflammation of the pancreas
  • severe weight loss
  • delirium
  • shock
  • liver failure
  • massive hemorrhaging
  • and multi-organ dysfunction

Source: Centre for Disease Control

Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats, and it can spread between humans through direct contact with bodily fluids, surfaces and materials, the WHO said.

No treatment or vaccine exists for Marburg.

In 2014-16 the largest outbreak of Ebola since 1970 began in Guinea.

Cases were recorded in Nigeria, the US, UK, Spain and Italy.

There were 28,616 suspected, probable and confirmed cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and 11,310 deaths.

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There have been a dozen major Marburg outbreaks since it was discovered in Marburg, Germany, in 1967.

Cases have mostly been in southern and eastern Africa, including Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, WHO said.

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