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A Highly infectious ‘Marburg’ virus detected in West-Africa

New Delhi, Aug 10: In West Africa the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday confirmed the first-ever case of the highly infectious disease ‘Marburgvirus . The WHO informed that Marburg, which is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola, was reported in Guinea’s Gueckedou.

The patient had seeks treatment at a local clinic in Koundou area of Gueckedou, where a medical investigation team had been dispatched to probe his worsening symptoms.


Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa applauded the alertness and the quick investigative action by Guinea’s health workers.

He also said, “Potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means we need to stop it in its tracks. We are working with the health authorities to implement a swift response that builds on Guineas past experience and expertise in managing Ebola, which is transmitted in a similar way.”

A team of 10 WHO experts, including epidemiologists and socio-anthropologists, is now on the ground helping to investigate the case and supporting the national health authorities to swiftly step up emergency response, including risk assessment, disease surveillance, community mobilization, testing, clinical care, infection prevention as well as logistical support.

This is to be noted that Gueckedou is also the same region where cases of the 2021 Ebola outbreak in Guinea as well as the 2014,2016 West Africa outbreak were initially detected.

What is Marburg virus and synonyms?

Marburg is a highly infectious disease that causes haemorrhagic fever and is transmitted to people from fruit bats. It spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials.

According to WHO, the illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise and several patients develop severe haemorrhagic signs within seven days.

There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat the virus yet but WHO said that supportive care  rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of specific symptoms improves survival.


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