Equatorial Guinea confirms 8 more cases of the Marburg virus | News

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Equatorial Guinea has confirmed eight more cases of the “highly virulent” Marburg virus, a deadly hemorrhagic fever for which there is no licensed vaccine or treatment.

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that, with these, the country accumulates nine cases in the outbreak declared in mid-February.

There are currently two known outbreaks of Marburg in Africa. Tanzania this week reported eight cases, with five deaths, including that of a health worker.

“Our pathogen genomics team will sequence samples from both locations…and check for a relationship between the two current outbreaks,” said Ahmed Ogwell, acting director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. to reporters on Thursday, with results to be known within a week, he added.

The WHO noted that the new cases in Equatorial Guinea were registered in the provinces of Kie Ntem, Litoral and Centro Sur, all bordering Cameroon and Gabon.

“The areas reporting cases are about 150 kilometers (93 miles) away, suggesting broader transmission of the virus,” the United Nations health agency said.

As with Ebola, the Marburg virus originates in bats and is transmitted between humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected or with surfaces, such as contaminated sheets. Without treatment, Marburg can be fatal in up to 88% of cases.

Individual cases and outbreaks of the disease have been reported in the past in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana, according to the WHO.

This virus was first identified in 1967 after causing simultaneous outbreaks in laboratories in Marburg, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia. Seven people exposed to the virus while conducting research on monkeys have died.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.