Tanzania Confirms First Marburg Virus Outbreak

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Tanzania has confirmed the first outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus in the villages of Maruku and Kanyangereko in the Kagera region, the country’s government has said.

The country’s Minister of Health, Ummy Mwalimu, said Tuesday that five of the eight confirmed cases have already died since the disease was reported last Thursday.

Meanwhile, authorities are tracking 161 individuals in the region, and said that the situation has been brought under control, according to the ‘Daily News Tanzania’ newspaper.

”There is no cause for alarm. We will work with our neighbors to ensure that those who contract the disease are treated in time,” Mwalimu said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed an emergency team to the region to carry out epidemiological investigations and offer assistance to local authorities, the organization said.

The efforts of Tanzanian health authorities to establish a cause for the disease is a clear indicator of their determination to respond effectively to the outbreak,” said WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.

Last February, the Government of Equatorial Guinea declared a health alert after confirming an outbreak of Marburg virus.

In Africa, previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. Guinea confirmed a case in August 2021 in Gueckedou, while Ghana confirmed two cases in July 2022.

Symptoms of the virus include headache, vomiting of blood and muscle aches. The disease is transmitted through contact with infected blood or other body fluids and tissues. There are no vaccines or approved antiviral treatments to treat the virus, which has a mortality rate of 88 percent.


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