WHO monitors situation of virus of the Ebola family in the African country; total number of fatalities reaches 11
The Ministry of Health of Equatorial Guinea, a country in Central Africa, confirmed this Tuesday (28.Feb.2023) two more deaths from Marburg disease. With that, the number of fatalities from the outbreak rose to 11 people.
“2 days ago, the monitoring system recorded 8 notifications, including the death of two people with symptoms of the disease”, said the country’s deputy health minister, Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba, in a statement. Here’s the full of the document, in Spanish (1.1 MB).
According to the ministry, 48 cases of the disease have already been registered in the country, with 4 people developing symptoms and 3 being monitored in quarantine in hospitals in the country.
The Marburg virus is the causative agent of Marburg disease, of the filovirus family, the same as Ebola. With a fatality rate of 88%, the disease was initially detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia.
Transmission to humans is through contact with fruit-eating bats. Spread is accomplished by exchanging body fluids, in addition to touching infected surfaces and materials. The incubation period for the virus ranges from 2 to 21 days.
Symptoms of the disease are high fever, headache, intense malaise, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. According to the organization, severe symptoms appear in 5 to 7 days and fatal cases usually have some type of bleeding.
Death from the disease is usually 8 to 9 days after the onset of symptoms, usually due to intense blood loss and shock.
According to WHO, there is no vaccine or approved treatment against Marburg disease. However, there are palliative care such as rehydration and the treatment of specific symptoms.
This is the first time that Equatorial Guinea has reported an outbreak of Marburg virus disease. Prior to this, an outbreak was reported in Ghana in 2022, with 3 confirmed cases.
Other cases were previously reported in Guinea (in 2021), Uganda (in 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2017), Angola (2004 and 2005), Democratic Republic of Congo (1998 and 2000), Kenya (1990, 1987 and 1990) and South Africa (1975).