The Marburg virus is a highly infectious and often lethal virus that is part of the Filoviridae family, along with Ebola virus. The virus causes a severe hemorrhagic fever with a high fatality rate. The disease caused by the Marburg virus is known as Marburg virus disease (MVD).
MVD was first identified in 1967 during outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia. The virus is named after the city of Marburg where the first recognized outbreak occurred. Since then, sporadic outbreaks have occurred in Africa, including Uganda, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Marburg virus is believed to be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals, such as bats, monkeys, or other primates, or through contact with bodily fluids, including blood, vomit, urine, and feces, of infected individuals. The virus can also be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with bodily fluids or by exposure to contaminated surfaces or materials.
Symptoms of MVD typically appear within 2-21 days after exposure and include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. As the disease progresses, patients may experience severe bleeding from multiple sites, including the eyes, gums, and internal organs, leading to shock, organ failure, and death.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for MVD, and the management of the disease is largely supportive. However, research is ongoing to develop new treatments and vaccines to prevent and treat the disease. In the meantime, prevention strategies such as avoiding contact with infected animals and individuals, practicing good hygiene, and using personal protective equipment can help reduce the risk of infection.
MVD on the news:
- CNN : What you need to know about the Marburg virus
- ABC : What is the Marburg virus disease?