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US takes first action against Marburg virus

US takes first action against Marburg virus

The US advises against non-essential travel to places where the disease has been detected in Equatorial Guinea as the Marburg virus continues to break out on the African continent.

April 4
2023
– 12:00

(Updated at 12:30 PM)

At the moment, the African continent is facing two outbreaks of Marburg virus. There, Equatorial Guinea has already recorded 10 deaths 5 people have died from hemorrhagic fever in Tanzania, with an estimated mortality rate of up to 88%.. Now, the United States has announced the first measures to control the arrival of the infectious agent.

Contingency measures to stop the Marburg virus “invasion” in the United States are being led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At the moment, the federal agency is focusing on two things: sending a team of experts to control the Ebola-related virus outbreak in Africa and issuing warnings to people traveling to or from the two countries.

Warning for travel to Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea

In general, anyone planning to visit Tanzania or Equatorial Guinea is advised that both countries are experiencing outbreaks of Marburg virus. So, while returning, passengers should be alert Possible symptoms associated with hemorrhagic fever for 21 days (incubation period).

Photo: Pressmaster/Envato Elements/ Canaltech

In addition, some safety measures are recommended:

  • Avoid contact with patients with symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and rashes;
  • In case of emergency only, seek medical help at health facilities in the outbreak area;
  • Do not visit caves or tunnels inhabited by fruit bats, which can spread the disease;
  • Avoid contact with non-human animals such as chimpanzees and gorillas, which can spread the virus.
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At this time, the CDC understands that the alert level for Tanzania Marburg virus is 1 (out of 3). However, Equatorial Guinea is already at alert level 2, so US officials have already advised against “non-essential travel to the outbreak provinces”.

Warning about potential virus symptoms at US airports

To facilitate the exchange of information about Marburg virus risks among Americans, the CDC plans to post notices at international airports. The idea is to reinforce that the incubation period of the disease is up to 21 days.

The guidance is for people who have traveled to countries with an outbreak to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms such as fever, bleeding and muscle aches. Initially, the first symptoms can easily be confused with other diseases. Therefore, travel history is fundamental in diagnosis.

What is the risk of Marburg virus infection?

Despite measures announced by the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) maintains that Marburg virus outbreaks have been relatively contained in their countries of origin. At the end of March, the WHO declared that “risk is considered high at the subregional level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level.”

Source: CDC (1) This is (two), WHO This is CBS

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