CDC warns doctors to be on the lookout for rare Marburg virus
Cases have been detected in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a warning Thursday to keep clinicians and public health departments across the United States on the lookout for cases of a rare Ebola-like virus.
The warning follows outbreaks of Marburg virus disease, one in Equatorial Guinea and the other in Tanzania, with neither country reporting outbreaks before this year.
So far, no cases have been reported in the United States and no other outbreaks have been reported, but the CDC says the warning “provides information about these outbreaks to increase awareness of the risk of imported cases. in the USA”.
At a press conference on March 21, the Tanzanian Minister of Health announcement an outbreak among a group of fishermen. Of the eight cases, five were fatal.
Meanwhile, in Equatorial Guinea, there have been 14 confirmed cases since Feb. 7, of which 10 of the patients have died, according to the CDC.
Currently, there is no evidence that the outbreaks in the two countries are linked, and they appear to be unrelated clusters in which the virus has spread from animals to humans, the federal health agency said.
Marburg virus disease is a rare disease caused by the Marburg virus, which is a so-called cousin of the Ebola virus.
THE first cases were identified in European laboratory workers who handled African green monkeys imported from Uganda.
The virus can broadcast either from animals to humans, or through person-to-person contact, or through contact with infected blood or other fluids or objects contaminated with these fluids.
According to the CDC, the incubation period — the time between infection and the onset of symptoms — can last anywhere from two to 21 days.
A person is only contagious symptoms appear, which may include a sudden fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal symptoms, or unexplained bleeding.
The CDC says doctors should screen for the disease if a person has symptoms and may have been exposed to the virus while in an affected area, such as if they attended a funeral or visited a healthcare facility.
The disease can lead to serious complications, including internal bleeding and organ damage.
“Clinical diagnosis of Marburg virus disease will be difficult,” the CDC said. “Many signs and symptoms of MVD are similar to other infectious diseases (such as malaria or typhoid fever) or viral hemorrhagic fevers that may be endemic to the area (such as Lassa fever or Ebola) This is especially true if only a single case is involved.”
There is currently no known treatment for the condition with therapies focusing on supportive measures such as balancing fluids, maintaining oxygen levels and blood pressure.
According to World Health Organizationpast outbreaks have had case fatality rates between 24% and 88%, with an average rate of 50%.
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