What is the Marburg virus?
The Marburg virus is an animal-borne pathogen that is a member of the Filoviridae viral family, which also includes the Ebola virus.
The Marburg virus was first identified by scientists in 1967 after laboratory workers in Marburg, Frankfurt, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia (modern-day Serbia), displayed symptoms of a hemorrhagic fever after coming into contact with infected African monkeys.
Since then, the Marburg virus has been responsible for about 600 human infections, including outbreaks in Angola and Uganda.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Symptoms could include:
muscular aches and pains
bleeding from the nose, gums, and vagina
spontaneous bleeding at venepuncture sites
disorientation, impatience, and hostility
According to the WHO, the virus has a 50% mortality rate on average.
Data from previous outbreaks from the WHO reveal case fatality rates ranging between 24 and 88 percent, taking into account instances of different strains and treatments.
According to the WHO, the majority of Marburg deaths occur between eight and nine days following the beginning of symptoms, generally after the patient has “severe blood loss” and goes into shock.
How is it transmitted?
The virus is frequently carried by the Egyptian rousette fruit bat.
It can also be carried by African green monkeys and pigs.
It spreads by body fluids and contact with contaminated bedding in people.
Even after a person has recovered, their blood or sperm, for example, might infect others for months.
How is it treated?
According to the WHO, there is “no proven therapy available” for MVD, as there is no vaccine or licenced antiviral medications.
Treatment of particular symptoms and rehydration by oral or intravenous fluids, on the other hand, can enhance a patient’s chances of life.
According to the WHO, treatments using blood products, immunological therapies, and pharmacological therapies are being investigated.
How can it be kept under control?
According to Gavi, an international organisation that promotes vaccination availability, people in Africa should avoid eating or touching bushmeat.
People should also avoid contact with pigs in outbreak regions, according to the WHO.
Men infected with the virus should wear condoms for a year after symptoms appear or until their sperm tests negative for the virus twice.
Those who bury those who have died as a result of the illness should avoid handling the body as well.