We are deeply concerned by the recent Marburg virus disease outbreak in Equatorial Guinea. In this article, we aim to provide comprehensive information on the outbreak and share preventive measures that can be taken to combat the disease. Our goal is to create awareness and provide readers with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from this deadly virus.
What is the Marburg virus disease?
Marburg virus disease (MVD) is a rare but highly deadly disease caused by the Marburg virus. The disease is similar to Ebola virus disease (EVD) and is often referred to as a “cousin” of Ebola. The virus is thought to be transmitted to humans from fruit bats and can also be spread through contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit.
The outbreak in Equatorial Guinea:
The first-ever outbreak of MVD in Equatorial Guinea was confirmed on August 14, 2021. The outbreak was first reported in the city of Nzara and has since spread to the capital city of Malabo. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of September 1, 2021, there have been 13 confirmed cases and six deaths.
The Equatorial Guinea government, in collaboration with the WHO and other partners, has taken immediate action to control the spread of the virus. Measures taken include active case finding, contact tracing, isolation of suspected and confirmed cases, and enhanced surveillance. The government has also activated an emergency response team to coordinate the response.
Symptoms of Marburg virus disease:
Symptoms of MVD usually appear within 2 to 21 days after exposure to the virus. The initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, and general malaise. These symptoms are followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, the disease can cause bleeding from the eyes, ears, and mouth.
Prevention of Marburg virus disease:
There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for MVD. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid contact with infected people or animals. If you are in an area where MVD is present, it is important to take the following preventive measures:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid contact with fruit bats or other animals that may carry the virus.
- Wear protective clothing, such as gloves and masks, when caring for sick people or animals.
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling of the body.
- Seek medical attention if you develop any symptoms of MVD.
In conclusion, the Marburg virus disease outbreak in Equatorial Guinea is a serious concern, and we must take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. It is important to educate ourselves about the symptoms and preventive measures of MVD and to seek medical attention if we suspect an infection. Let us work together to combat this deadly virus and protect ourselves and our communities.