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US Health Body Warns Of Deadly Marburg Virus After Outbreak In Africa

Marburg virus, which causes infection as deadly as Ebola, has been spreading like a wildfire in Africa. Now the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged all travellers going to Guinea and Tanzania to take prevention to avoid catching the fatal virus. Furthermore, the health body is also sending personnel to help halt the spread of the virus.

The Marburg virus is an infectious illness with a high mortality rate and epidemic potential, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases will be sent by the CDC to respond to the outbreaks in Tanzania and Guinea, the organisation said.

Equatorial Guinea first reported the virus in February and since then the WHO has recorded nine confirmed cases and 20 additional probable cases, all of which have died. 

According to WHO, Marburg virus disease is a highly virulent disease that causes haemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88 per cent. It is part of the filovirus family that also includes the Ebola virus, which has caused havoc in several previous outbreaks in Africa. The natural host of the Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, which carries the virus but does not fall sick from it.

Bats and other infected animals can transmit the Marburg virus. High fever, bleeding both internally and externally, and excruciating headaches are some of the symptoms of the viral illness.

After being infected, the Marburg virus can spread to another person by coming into direct contact (through cuts in the skin or ruptured mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of an infected person, as well as by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces and materials (like bedding and clothing).

Post a commentMarburg has no known cure or vaccine, but according to the WHO, early candidate vaccines as well as blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are being studied as possible treatments.

Source: NDTV