Guinea has recorded the primary identified case of the Marburg virus, a deadly cousin to Ebola, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) says.
Here is a factfile on the illness (supply: WHO, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
What is Marburg?
Marburg virus is a extremely harmful pathogen that causes haemorrhagic fever.
According to previous outbreaks, the typical fatality fee is 50 %, in a spread of 24-88 %.
The virus is a part of the so-called filovirus household to which the Ebola virus additionally belongs.
It takes its title from the German metropolis of Marburg, the place it was first recognized in 1967, in a lab the place staff had been involved with contaminated inexperienced monkeys that had been imported from Uganda.
Two different outbreaks occurred on the similar time in Frankfurt, additionally in Germany, and in Belgrade, then the capital of Yugoslavia, now Serbia. Seven folks died.
How is it transmitted?
The pure “reservoir,” or host, of the Marburg virus is the African fruit bat.
The cave-dwelling mammals carry the virus however don’t fall sick from it, and may hand the virus to primates in shut proximity, together with people — one suspected pathway is the killing or butchering of contaminated bats for meals.
Human-to-human transmission then happens via contact with blood or different bodily fluids, or contact with surfaces similar to bedding or clothes which can be contaminated with these fluids. Some infections have occurred by chance within the lab, via needle wounds.
What are the signs?
The virus takes between two and 21 days to incubate, resulting in abrupt signs of excessive fever, extreme complications, muscular ache, vomiting and diarrhoea — signs that may make Marburg troublesome to diagnose initially, as they’re just like ailments similar to typhoid and malaria.
Haemorrhagic episodes usually observe between 5 and 7 days later, with blood within the vomit and faeces and bleeding from the nostril, gums and vagina. In deadly circumstances, dying happens most frequently between eight and 9 days.
What therapies can be found?
There are not any vaccines or antiviral therapies for Marburg illness. However, rehydration with oral or intravenous strategies improves survival and experimental use of monoclonal antibody medicine has been promising.
This is why it’s essential to stamp out the illness from the outset, say specialists.
“You have to step up surveillance, identify all contact cases in order to isolate them if they start developing the disease, to prevent any transmission,” mentioned Ousmane Faye, a virologist on the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, the capital of Senegal.
The single case that has to date been detected in Guinea occurred in a village within the district of Gueckedou, in a forested area within the south of the nation near the borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The affected person is a person who died on August 2 after creating signs on July 25.
Three of his family members and a well being staff have been recognized as being at excessive threat and are beneath shut surveillance. Around 150 others, thought-about contact circumstances, are additionally being monitored day by day. The nation has additionally stepped up cross-border vigilance.
Previous outbreaks and sporadic circumstances have been recorded in South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The deadliest epidemic to date occurred in northern Angola in 2005, by which 329 sufferers out of 374 died.
Guinea is without doubt one of the poorest nations on the earth.
It was one in every of three nations, together with Liberia and Sierra Leone, which was hit by the biggest-ever epidemic of Ebola, an episode that ran from 2013-16 and claimed greater than 11,300 lives.
A second outbreak in Guinea started in February this 12 months, killing 12 folks earlier than being declared over on June 19.