Marburg virus disease outbreak kills five in Tanzania: What is this virus?

Source: The post is based on the article “Marburg virus disease outbreak kills five in Tanzania: What is this virus?” published in the Indian Express on 27th March 2023.

What is the News?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 161 people in Tanzania have been infected with highly infectious Marburg virus disease.

What is the Marburg virus disease?

According to the WHO, marburg virus disease (MVD), earlier known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fever.

Symptoms: MVD can manifest itself in the form of high fever, muscle aches and severe headache. Around the third day, patients report abdominal pain, vomiting, severe watery diarrhoea and cramping. In this phase, the WHO says, the appearance of patients has been often described as “ghost-like” with deep-set eyes, expressionless faces, and extreme lethargy.

Between days five and seven, patients report bleeding from the nose, and gums and blood appearing in vomit and faeces. Severe blood loss leads to death, often between eight to nine days after symptoms begin.

Challenges in treatment: It is difficult to clinically distinguish MVD from diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and other viral haemorrhagic fevers.

Fatality rate: The disease has an average fatality rate of around 50%. However, it can be as low as 24% or as high as 88% depending on virus strain and case management.

Must Read: Marburg virus disease


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