Marburg: Deadly Ebola-Like Virus Was Recorded in Kenya

A colony of bats hanging from under a cave
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned the world that a new virus from fruit bats, which has killed one person in Guinea, is a fast-spreading disease.

    In a Monday, August 9, notice, WHO noted that over 150 other people from the West African nation were placed under quarantine after the victim succumbed just eight days after contracting the disease.

    Unknown to many, however, is that the disease has ever been recorded in Kenya in Nyanza region and was known as Lake Victoria Marburg Virus (MARV).

    According to a 2010 report by the US National Institute of Health (NIH), the disease, which causes severe hemorrhagic fever with a high case-fatality rate in humans, was recorded in Kenya in the 1980s and across Sub Saharan Africa.

    A colony of bats hanging from under a cave.
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    Marburg, which is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola, was recorded shortly after Guinea declared an end to Ebola virus.

    “Index cases occurred in Germany (hence the name Marburg) during 1967 among laboratory workers who handled tissues and blood samples of non-human primates from Africa. Most outbreaks in humans were associated with visits to caves and mines,” reads the report in part.

    “In Kenya, human cases of MARV infection were reported in 1980 and 1987; these occurred after visits to the Kitum Cave at Mount Elgon.”

    Symptoms

    According to WHO, Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials.

    “Illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise. Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic signs within seven days. Case fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88% in past outbreaks depending on virus strain and case management,” cautioned WHO.

    It is documented that it is hard to diagnose the disease because it has symptoms similar to those of typhoid and malaria.

    Patients often experience blood in their vomit and stool and bleeding from the nose, gums and vagina. 

    Unfortunately, there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for the highly contagious disease.

    This comes even as Covid-19 pandemic, which has recorded over 200 million infections and 4.3 million deaths, continues to wreck havoc globally.

    Family and friends gather for the burial of Kenya’s first medic victim of Covid-19 Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki at Ndalu village, Tongaren sub-county in Bungoma County.
    Family and friends gather for the burial of Kenya’s first medic victim of Covid-19 Dr Doreen Adisa Lugaliki at Ndalu village, Tongaren sub-county in Bungoma County.
    K24 Digital
  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM