There is another virus that worries WHO

There is another virus that worries WHO

WHO has confirmed the first case of a person infected with the Marburg virus: he is from the same family as Ebola and can cause fatal hemorrhagic fever. This is the first case ever recorded in West Africa, and the first since 2004

(photo: Fabrice Coffrini / Getty Images) The first case of Marburg virus disease has been identified in Guinea. It is from the same family as Ebola and can cause fatal hemorrhagic fever. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the new discovery just two months after declaring the end of the country's second Ebola epidemic, which began last year and has caused 12 deaths.

The fever of Marburg was first described in 1967, during an epidemic that broke out in Frankfurt in Germany and in Belgrade, in present-day Serbia. In that case, the virus spread through a jump in species from some monkeys arrived from Uganda, which infected some researchers who were studying them. Of the 25 people directly infected, 7 lost their lives. The disease then reappeared in 1975 in South Africa, in 1980 and 1987 in Kenya, between 1998 and 2000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in 2004 in Angola.

According to the Organization's data, the mortality rate in Marburg's cases varied from 24% to 90%, depending on the strain of the virus and the management of the emergency. For Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO director general for Africa "the potential of the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means that we need to stop it by following its tracks". The virus, in fact, is transmitted by contact and its presence in West Africa means that it has already made a long journey and infected many other people. The disease comes on suddenly and quickly with severe headache, muscle aches and malaise. Other symptoms include, high fever, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding.

The first ever case of #Marburg virus in West Africa has been confirmed in #Guinea.

We applaud the alertness & the quick investigative action by Guinea's health workers. The potential for the Marburg virus to spread far & wide means we need to stop it in its tracks.

- Dr Matshidiso Moeti (@MoetiTshidi) August 9, 2021

Both this first case of Marburg and the cases of Ebola they have been identified in the district of Gueckedou, in the southeastern part of Guinea, on the border with Liberia and Ivory Coast. This means that the presence of the virus in these two countries could be highly probable, even in asymptomatic people. The WHO has therefore issued a high-risk pandemic alarm at national and regional level, while the chances of a global spread of this disease are fortunately very low.

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Africa Ebola Health globalData.fldTopic = "Africa, Ebola, Health"

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