Commonly known as Ebola’s cousin, Marburg virus infection has the ability to infect individuals and keep them asymptomatic. This virus spreads just like COVID-19.
The World Health Organization said that the health authorities of Guinea have confirmed the first death of Marburg virus, a highly contagious disease that causes hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola. The first case of this fatal virus infection was found in Gueckedou, less than two cases. A few months after Guinea announced the end of the Ebola outbreak that broke out earlier this year, the 2021 Guinea Ebola outbreak and the 2014-2016 West Africa outbreak were first detected in the same area.
According to preliminary reports, the male patient developed fever, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, bleeding gums and other symptoms on July 25, and went to a small clinic on August 1. The patient received fluids, parenteral antibiotics, and maintenance therapy to relieve symptoms; however, he died the next day.
What is Marburg virus?
Symptoms To Look Out For
The incubation period of the virus attack may vary from 2 to 21 days and symptoms at an advanced stage may include delirium, severe weight loss, jaundice, pancreatic inflammation, massive haemorrhaging, and multiorgan failure and dysfunction. The common symptoms of Murbarg are as follows:
- Severe malaise
- Severe headache
- High fever
- Muscle ache
- Severe diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain
- Severe fatigue
“The potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means we need to stop it in its tracks,” World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said in a statement. He further added, “We are working with the health authorities to implement a swift response that builds on Guinea’s past experience and expertise in managing Ebola, which is transmitted in a similar way.”
West Africa has recorded the deadly disease for the first time. There have been 12 major Marburg outbreaks since 1967, mostly in southern and eastern Africa. Efforts are underway to find the people who may have been in contact with the patient. As of August 7, only one case has been confirmed and all four identified high-risk close contacts are asymptomatic. Investigations are ongoing to identify the source of the infection and additional contacts of the index case, the WHO said.
Health officials have also begun to educate and mobilize the public to raise awareness and mobilize support to help control widespread infections.
Marburg virus is transmitted to humans through flying foxes, and from person to person through direct contact with infected human body fluids, surfaces and materials. It will suddenly have a high fever, severe headache and general malaise. Many people show signs of severe bleeding within 7 days.
Mortality rates in previous outbreaks ranged from 24% to 88%, depending on the virus strain and the treatment of the case. Vaccines or antiviral drugs approved for the treatment of viruses, maintenance therapy, oral or intravenous fluid rehydration, and treatment of specific symptoms can improve survival.
According to the World Health Organization, a number of potential therapies are currently being evaluated, including blood products, immunotherapy and drug therapies. … (Use IANS input).