In 1967, the Marburg virus was first discovered in Marburg, Germany, when two lab workers got infected and died. This infectious disease’s relative, the equally risky Ebola virus, was also discovered in the same year, but five years before in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Each virus belongs to the Filoviridae family, which contains five types of viruses that only infect humans and non-human primates.
What Is Marburg Virus?
Marburg virus is a rare and infectious illness that has the potential to produce a sudden and brutal hemorrhagic fever. WHO estimates that this highly contagious disease has a death rate of 88 percent. The Ebola virus belongs to the same group of pathogens as this one. The disease was first identified in 1967 because of two epidemics that occurred simultaneously in Marburg, Frankfurt, and Belgrade, Serbia, and in Germany and Germany.
The WHO states that extended exposure to mines or caves with Rousettus bat colonies can lead to infection with the Marburg virus. Symptoms are spread through contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. Symptoms can also be spread through contact with the body or clothing that was in contact with the body.
Symptoms Of Marburg Virus
The Marburg virus begins abruptly with the following symptoms:
- Severe headache
- Severe watery diarrheas’
- Severe malaise
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Non-itchy rash between 2-7 days of infection
Severe hemorrhagic symptoms can surface within 7 days of being infected. It can cause fatal symptoms, such as:
- High fever
- Blood in faces
- Bleeding through the nose, gums and genital areas
- Blood in vomiting
- High fever
Treating Marburg Virus
According to Amato, while there is no specific treatment for Marburg disease, almost all patients seeking care will require intravenous fluids, replacement of electrolytes, oxygen supplementation and blood products replacement.
She confirmed that there’s no current vaccine for this virus.
She says, Approximately 25 to 30 percent of those who contract Marburg HF will succumb to it, and cautions that it is not easy to diagnose.
“Marburg HF is a subtle disease to diagnose, as it initially resembles many more common viral infections,” she said.
Amato stresses that it’s crucial for patients to inform their doctors of where they’ve traveled, to prevent being misdiagnosed with a different ailment.
The Bottom line
Recently, the WHO confirmed that health authorities in Ghana, the Western African nation, identified two cases of Marburg virus disease.
This virus bears some resemblances to Ebola. It’s a type of hemorrhagic fever that causes internal bleeding and begins in a particular species of fruit bat.