Marburg Viral Infection

Marburg infection is one of the group of hemorrhagic viral infections caused in this case by the Marburg virus characterized by abrupt onset of fever, body aches, and headache progressing to vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, shock and multiple organ failure.

Where does it occur?

Most cases are reported from Uganda, Western Kenya, Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo.

How is it transmitted?

Person to person transmission occurs by contact with blood and body fluids. Airborne transmission among humans has not been observed. Bats and monkeys serve as reservoirs of the virus.

Is it contagious from person to person?

It is contagious from person to person through contact with blood and body fluids.

What is the risk for travelers?

The risk to travelers is low. During outbreaks avoid contact with ill individuals and health care facilities.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Illness begins with sudden onset of fever, fatigue, body aches, muscle pains, and headache. Sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea follow this. One can rapidly develop bleeding and multiple organ failure leading to death.

Are there any lab tests to diagnose the illness?

Lab tests are available but due to extreme hazard, special facilities are required. Antibody, PCR, and cultures are available.

Is there any treatment?

Treatment is largely supportive; however antiviral medication called ribavarin has been used. Convalescent phase plasma if available from the CDC has also been used with some effectiveness.

How soon will I experience symptoms?

Symptoms occur from 3-9 days after exposure.

What preventive measures can be taken?

Avoid travel to regions with ongoing outbreaks. Refrain from eating monkey meat.

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