Deadly Marburg virus spreads in Equatorial Guinea

By MDLinx staff
Published February 14, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Marburg virus is spreading in Equatorial Guinea with two other confirmed cases in Cameroon.

  • The virus is related to the Ebola virus.

  • The fatality rate is more than 80 percent.

Yesterday, Equatorial Guinea announced its first outbreak of Marburg virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed nine deaths and 16 other possible infections.[] According to news sources, neighboring Cameroon also suspects two cases of the virus. 

The virus causes extreme fatigue, blood in the vomit, and diarrhea. The WHO reports that the virus spreads quickly and causes a high fatality rate. The virus comes from fruit bats and can easily be spread from person-to-person.[] 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fruit bats don’t show signs of infection. The only other virus that is related to Marburg is Ebola.[] There is no vaccine or medication to treat the virus. []

The virus can quickly be transmitted and hospital workers are at high risk. Body fluids, including breast milk and semen, can carry the virus. []

“Without a Marburg virus vaccine, prevention and control are limited by an incubation period up to 21 days in length, during which identification and isolation are not possible," says Scott Cunningham, MD. "As a result, viral spread goes unchecked."

The WHO and other organizations are providing support to help stop the spread of the virus.

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