What to Know About the Marburg Virus Disease

What to Know About the Marburg Virus Disease , Two people infected with the virus died in Ghana last month, though no other cases were found, experts said. The disease’s fatality rate is high.

What to Know About the Marburg Virus Disease

What to Know About the Marburg Virus Disease , The Ghana announced the country’s first outbreak of Marburg virus disease after two people who were not related died on June 27 and 28. Word of a new outbreak of a lethal disease caused by viral infections added to the concerns of a public weary from battling the coronavirus pandemic, and recently alarmed by the spread of monkeypox and a new case of polio. Doctors and public health experts in the country immediately started searching for anyone who had been exposed and investigating the cause of the spread in an effort to contain infection. For now, health researchers in Ghana and in other parts of the world said that there was no indication that the virus had spread further. Marburg was first detected in 1967, when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever occurred simultaneously in laboratories in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, in what is now Serbia in cases that were linked to African green monkeys imported from Uganda. Other cases have since been found in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, according to the World Health Organization. Last month’s cases in Ghana were the first recorded in that country.

There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for the disease, medical experts said, but hydrating patients and treating their specific symptoms can improve their chances of survival. The disease is clinically similar to Ebola in its spread, symptoms and progression, although it is caused by a different virus, according to the W.H.O. In Marburg’s case, fruit bats are considered to be the hosts of the virus, though researchers say it does not cause them illness. Researchers believe that Ebola is likely carried by bats or by nonhuman primates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even though it has not spread widely, Marburg has been deadly, with case fatality rates ranging from 24 to 88 percent, depending on which strain people contract and the management of cases, according to the W.H.O. The Ebola case fatality rates are nearly the same.

Marburg can cause severe viral hemorrhagic fever, which interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. The incubation period ranges from two to 21 days, and symptoms begin abruptly with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise, according to the W.H.O. Other symptoms can include muscle aches, diarrhea, nausea, lethargy and bleeding through vomit, feces and from other body parts. Marburg is not contagious during the incubation period, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Severely ill patients often die eight or nine days after the onset of symptoms, according to the W.H.O. “Mortality is very high,” said Dr. John Amuasi, who leads the global health and infectious disease research group at the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine in Kumasi, Ghana. “And there’s no asymptomatic Marburg.”

Source: This news is originally published by nytimes

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