Urgent need to contain this Ebola cousin

Roger Harris/Science Photo Library

Roger Harris/Science Photo Library

Marburg virus is a highly contagious disease that belongs to the same family as the virus that causes Ebola. Conversation African Wale Fatadeh and Usifo His omozok pair asked virologist Oi Wale Tomori about its origins and how people can protect themselves from the disease.

What is the Marburg virus and where did it come from?

Marburg virus causes Marburg virus disease (MVD), formerly known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever.The virus, which belongs to the same family as the Ebola virus, causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever in humans, with an average fatality rate of around it 50%.has changed while 24% to 88% in various outbreaks, depending on virus strain and case management.

it was first reported In 1967 in a town called Marburg in Germany and Belgrade in Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Both cities had outbreaks at the same time. It came from monkeys imported from Uganda for laboratory research in Marburg. Of his 31 cases associated with these outbreaks, seven have died.

After the initial outbreak, additional cases have been reported in various parts of the world. mostly in africa – Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and most recently Guinea and Ghana.serology the study We also uncovered evidence of previous Marburg virus infections in Nigeria.

The host or host of the virus has not been definitively identified, but the virus Related to fruit bats. in 2008two independent cases were reported in travelers who visited a cave colony of Rousettus bats in Uganda.

how does it spread?

Spread by contact with infected host or reservoir material (body fluids, blood, tissues, cells). In the case of monkeys imported into Marburg from Uganda, laboratory staff apparently became infected through contact with monkey tissue and blood.

Human-to-human transmission is possible direct contact With the blood, secretions, organs, and other body fluids of an infected person, and surfaces and materials (through broken skin or mucous membranes). This includes bedding and clothing contaminated with these liquids.

But there are many things we don’t know. For example, can humans be infected by coming into contact with bat droppings in caves?

What are the symptoms? And how bad are they?

After an incubation period of 2 to 21 days, an illness characterized by fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches develops suddenly.

From around 5 days after onset, many spotted papules on the trunk (chest, back, stomach), may appearNausea, vomiting, chest pain, sore throat, abdominal pain and diarrhea may occur. Symptoms become increasingly severe and may include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, heavy bleeding, and multiple organ failure.

of Fatality rate around 50%can be as high as 88% and as low as 20%.

Can it be treated?

It’s not, but early supportive care Hydration and symptomatic treatment improve survival.

What can people do to protect themselves?

Avoid exposure to the virus as much as possible and prevent shedding from an infected person.

Also, cases of Marburg virus infection should be reliably confirmed in the laboratory, as many hemorrhagic fever diseases have similar symptoms, especially in the early stages. As with Ebola, once it’s done, the person should be quarantined immediately and avoid contact with other people.

What should be done to prevent the virus from spreading?

There are no days off due to illness outbreaks. So, as a country, we can’t take breaks or vacations from monitoring.

When cases are reported, it’s time to be alert. Appropriate screening is required. Arrivals from affected countries and other neighboring countries must be checked at the port of entry.

the study Made in Nigeria in the 1980s More recently, in the 1990s, evidence emerged that certain populations in Nigeria may have been previously infected with Marburg virus (or related viruses). This makes me believe the virus is probably more prevalent than we think. Diagnostics need to be improved so that they can be detected as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In addition to this, countries should improve disease surveillance and laboratory diagnosis to strengthen and improve capacity for more definitive diagnosis of viral hemorrhagic fever infections.

This article is reprinted from conversation, is a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. Like this article? Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

It was written by: Oiware Tomori, Nigerian Academy of Sciences.

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Oyewale Tomori does not work for, consults, owns shares in, or receives funding from any company or organization that benefits from this article and does not disclose any relevant affiliation other than an academic appointment. not.

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