However, unlike monkeypox and polio in the UK, the Marburg virus is a completely different beast altogether. The virus, formerly referred to as Mar
However, unlike monkeypox and polio in the UK, the Marburg virus is a completely different beast altogether. The virus, formerly referred to as Marburg haemorrhagic fever, causes severe illness and, very often, death. Marburg is a cousin of the dangerous Ebola virus. To put into context how deadly it is, it has a fatality rate of 88 percent; a ratio which can fall with good patient care.
The disease has come to the attention of the WHO (World Health Organisation) after an outbreak in Ghana which has already killed two people.
In a statement about the outbreak, the WHO said: “Health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak,
“This is good because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand. WHO is on the ground supporting health authorities and now that the outbreak is declared, we are marshalling more resources for the response.”
Due to the severe nature of Marburg, the WHO and other parties will be keen to make sure the disease doesn’t spread to other nations within the African continent and from there to countries outside it.
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Although originating in Ghana in 2022, this is only the second time the disease has been detected in West Africa after Guinea recorded one case in August 2021.
If it did reach Europe, it wouldn’t be the first time; in 1967 cases were detected in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany.
Overall, Europe has only seen one death from Marburg in the past 40 years.
However, this doesn’t mean it won’t return to the region again.
How is it transmitted?
Marburg is transmitted through close person to person contact; bodily fluids such as blood, faeces, vomit, urine, and saliva have the highest concentrations of the virus.
However, this information is more interesting than relevant as the virus is so far limited to Africa.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean the situation won’t change in the future.