Deadly marburg virus detected in Guinea: Origin, transmission, symptoms, key facts
United Nations, Aug 10: The first case of Marburg disease, highly infectious like Covid-19 was confirmed in Guinea, with the death of a person on August 2 in southern Gueckedou prefecture.
The virus, which is transmitted through bats has a fatality rate of up to 88 percent.
According to World Health Organisation, Marburg virus is usually associated with exposure to caves or mines housing colonies of Rousettus bats. Once caught by a human, it is spread through contact with bodily fluids of infected people, or with contaminated surfaces and materials.
Marburg virus origin
Marburg virus was first in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.
Two large outbreaks that occurred simultaneously in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1967, led to the initial recognition of the disease. The outbreak was associated with laboratory work using African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda.
Later cases were reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa (in a person with recent travel history to Zimbabwe) and Uganda. In 2008, two independent cases were reported in travellers who had visited a cave inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies in Uganda.
Marburg virus transmission
According to World Health Organisation, Marburg spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
Marburg virus Symptoms
Marburg symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and myalgia. Around the fifth day after the onset of symptoms, a maculopapular rash, most prominent on the trunk (chest, back, stomach), may occur. Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may then appear.
If severe, it can include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction.
Marburg virus Key facts
- Marburg virus disease (MVD), formerly known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- The virus causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever in humans.
- The average MVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88% in past outbreaks depending on virus strain and case management.
- Early supportive care with rehydration, and symptomatic treatment improves survival.
- There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralize the virus, but the study is on
- Rousettus aegyptiacus, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, are considered to be natural hosts of Marburg virus.
- Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks.