Latest Marburg Outbreak: A Deadly Threat in Africa

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Written by DEPKES.ORG March 2023

Two concurrent outbreaks of the Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola that can kill as many as 90% of the people it infects,

are raising critical questions about the behavior of this mysterious bat-borne pathogen and global efforts to prepare for potential pandemics.

Marburg, a hemorrhagic fever, is rare: Just a handful of outbreaks have been reported since the virus was identified in 1967. But a steady uptick in occurrences in Africa in recent years is raising alarm.

Marburg causes high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and, in the most severe cases, bleeding from orifices. It spreads between people via direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected people and with surfaces and materials such as clothing contaminated with these fluids.

One of the two outbreaks, in Tanzania in East Africa, seems to have been brought under control, with just two people left in quarantine. But in the other, in Equatorial Guinea on the west coast, spread of the virus is ongoing, and the World Health Organization said last week that the country was not being transparent in reporting cases.

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