Women health

 Marburg Virus Signs and Symptoms

The primary hosts of the Marburg virus disease include African fruit bats:

  1. Ghana, a country in West Africa, recently reported the first-ever Marburg virus disease outbreak (MVD).
  2. The Marburg virus, which causes MVD and is frequently referred to as Ebola's deadly cousin, presently has no known cure and is a 50% average mortality rate.
  3. Researchers are currently developing cures for this fatal illness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier this month that Ghana, a country in West Africa, had announced the first-ever epidemic of the Marburg virus sickness (MVD).

Two unrelated individuals, aged 26 and 51, who passed away in the southern Ashanti section of the country were diagnosed with the unusual condition brought on by the Marburg virus, according to the Ghana Health Services. The disease findings were also corroborated by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, declares in a formal news statement that "health authorities have moved rapidly, obtaining a head start planning for a probable outbreak."

This is advantageous since Marburg might quickly spiral out of control in the absence of a swift and decisive response. Since the epidemic has been announced, we are mobilizing additional resources for the response, and WHO is on the ground assisting local health authorities, the official said.

What exactly is a Marburg virus?

The Ebola virus and the Marburg virus are both members of the viral family Filoviridae, which includes the animal-borne Marburg virus.

While laboratory employees in Marburg, Frankfurt, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia (modern-day Serbia), displayed symptoms of hemorrhagic fever and were then exposed to infected African monkeys, researchers made the initial discovery of the Marburg virus in 1967.

Since then, the Marburg virus has been responsible for roughly 600 human infections, including epidemics in Uganda and Angola.

How does the Marburg virus spread among people?   

The Marburg virus is the source of Marburg's illness (MVD). The African fruit bat is the principal Marburg virus carrier. A person can contract the disease through prolonged contact with infected bats in caves or mines, as well as through contact with the bodily fluids or feces of an affected animal.

After becoming infected, the Marburg virus can be transmitted from one person to another by coming into contact with their bodily fluids, which can include blood, saliva, sweat, semen, vomit, amniotic fluid, and breast milk. Direct touch with a person's bodily fluids can cause infection, as can contact with body fluids that are on a surface or object like clothing or bedding.

Healthcare workers and others who frequently come into touch with bodily fluids are more likely to catch MVD from infected patients.

A person who has died from MVD remains contagious after death, therefore individuals who care for sick family members or work in the funeral industry may be exposed to the disease.

Aside from humans, non-human primates like gorillas and monkeys can contract the Marburg virus.

Thus according to Dr. Jonathan Towner, head of the Virus-Host Ecology Section in the Viral Special Pathogens Branch at the Centers for Disease Control as well as Prevention (CDC), historically, those most at higher risk of contracting MVD have been family members and hospital staff who care for patients who are infected with the Marburg virus but have not taken the proper precautions to prevent and control infection.

He informed MNT that some professions, such as those dealing with non-human primates from Africa in laboratories or quarantine facilities, may also be more susceptible to Marburg virus exposure. "Exposure risk can be increased for travelers to endemic areas of Africa who come into contact with or are close to Egyptian roulette bats present in caves or mines in which these bats normally reside."

What signs and symptoms are present?

The Marburg virus has an incubation period that can range from two to 21 days before symptoms manifest. MVD signs and symptoms include:

  1. Fever or chills
  2. Headache
  3. Musculoskeletal pains
  4. Vomiting or feeling queasy
  5. Throat pain
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Rash itchy on the stomach, back, or chest.
  8. Difficulties relating to hemorrhages, such as bleeding gums, noses, skin, or eyes
  9. Fatality figures

MVD death rates can range from 24 to 88 percent, depending on the virus strains and management, with an average of 50 percent.

How is the Marburg virus sickness treated?

The MVD condition is currently untreated.

Currently, medical practitioners deal with MVD's many symptoms as they appear. In addition, if the patient is hospitalized, medical professionals will administer supportive therapies like rehydration and blood transfusions to replace blood loss due to hemorrhagic symptoms.

Presently, research is being done on a few potential treatments for MVD. According to a 2018 study, the antiviral medication Favipiravi effectively treated MVB in a mouse model.

How may the Marburg virus be prevented?

The danger of bat-to-human transmission can be decreased by avoiding caverns and mines with dense bat populations, according to a statement made in an official capacity earlier this month by Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director-general of the Ghana Health Service. In addition, he advised fully cooking any animal items before consuming them.

Stay away from mines or caverns where fruit bat colonies are found for an extended period of time, she advised MNT. Avoid coming into contact with infected individuals directly or closely, especially while handling their bodily fluids. And before eating, make sure you fully prepare any animal items (including meat and blood).

"Danger to the U.S. is very low unless you are a tourist with a recent history of visiting caves in Africa that contain Egyptian roulette bats, the only purely natural reservoir, or have been in direct physical interaction with people or non-human primates having to suffer from Marburg virus disease," Dr. Towner continued.

He stated, "MVD is a relatively uncommon condition in people. "Although, when it does, there is a chance that it will spread to other people, particularly medical personnel and the patient's relatives. It is essential to raise awareness of the clinical symptoms experienced by patients with MVD among the general public and healthcare professionals. Increased knowledge may result in early and more aggressive protective measures against the Marburg virus among family members and medical professionals.



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