The first two cases of the Marburg virus, a highly infectious Ebola-like disease, have been confirmed officially by Ghana after test results were verified by a Senegal laboratory.
- This outbreak is only the second time that the disease has been detected in West Africa.
GS II- Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is the Marburg virus disease?
- What are the symptoms of Marburg virus disease?
- How can Marburg virus disease be diagnosed and treated?
What is the Marburg virus disease?
- Marburg virus disease (MVD), earlier known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fever, according to the WHO.
- Marburg, like Ebola, is a filovirus; and both diseases are clinically similar.
- Rousettus fruit-bats are considered the natural hosts for Marburg virus.
- However, African green monkeys imported from Uganda were the source of the first human infection.
- It was first detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.
- 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, says the WHO.
What are the symptoms of Marburg virus disease?
- After the onset of symptoms, which can begin anytime between 2 to 21 days, 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 5 and 7, patients report bleeding from nose, gums and blood appearing in vomits and faeces.
- Severe blood loss leads to death, often between 8 to 9 days after symptoms begin.
How can Marburg virus disease be diagnosed and treated?
- It is difficult to clinically distinguish MVD from diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and other viral haemorrhagic fevers.
- However, it is confirmed by lab testing of samples, which like Coronavirus and Ebola are extreme biohazard risk.
- There is no approved antiviral treatment or vaccine for MVD as of now.
- It can be managed with supportive care.
- According to the WHO, rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids, and treatment of specific symptoms can help prevent death.
-Source: Indian Express