Marburg: Tanzania detects first-ever cases of viral disease
Tanzania has confirmed its first cases of Marburg, a high-fatality viral hemorrhagic fever with symptoms similar to Ebola, according to the World Health Organization.
According to a late Tuesday statement from the WHO, the disease was confirmed by Tanzania’s national public laboratory after the deaths of five of eight people in Tanzania’s northwest Kagera region who developed symptoms such as fever, vomiting, bleeding, and renal failure.
According to the WHO, one of the dead was a health worker. The three survivors were being treated, and 161 contacts were being tracked.
“Tanzania’s efforts to determine the cause of the disease are a clear indication of the determination to effectively respond to the outbreak,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.
“We are working with the government to rapidly scale up control measures to halt the spread of the virus.”
With a fatality rate of as high as 88%, Marburg is from the same virus family responsible for Ebola and is transmitted to people from fruit bats. It then spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of infected people.
Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, and malaise which typically develop within seven days of infection, according to the WHO.
Equatorial Guinea is also battling its first-ever outbreak of Marburg which was confirmed in February.