Marburg Virus is one of the severest and deadliest disease known and the virus strain comes from the same family as the one which causes Ebola. People affected by Marburg Virus suffers from a high fatality rate, ranging from 20% all the way to close to 90%. It was initially detected in Marburg (the name is derived from the source), and subsequently Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade, Serbia. While deadly, the disease is not very common relative to other incurable diseases covered here.
What is Marburg Virus?
Marburg Virus catalyzes the Marburg Haemorrhagic Fever (MHF), a disease with a case fatality rate of up to 90%. The virus strain from Marburg virus comes from the same family (family Filoviridae) as Ebola, and both have the tendency to cause dramatic outbreaks with high fatality rates. It is usually characterized by initial severe headaches and malaise.
Is Marburg Virus transmissible?
According to WHO’s Factsheet, Marburg Virus initially resulted from prolonged exposure to caves or mines which were inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies. Currently, transmission is usually human to human, which results from close contact with an infected patient’s bodily fluids or blood. This virus was highly contagious and have even infected healthcare workers in previous outbreak cases.
What causes Marburg Virus?
It is believed that African green monkeys imported from Uganda were the reason for the first outbreak in 1967. Pigs are also believed to be an amplifier host during MHF outbreaks and they have been found capable of shedding the virus as they are susceptible to the filovirus infection.
How can we fight against Marburg Virus?
The best way to fight against Marburg Virus is through preventive measures. To guard against pigs being infected and shedding the virus, there are precautions which pig farms are taking to prevent infection through close contact with fruit bats. To reduce human to human transmission, education is important as well.
Sadly, no specific treatment or vaccine is yet available for MHF. Current treatment methods are simply supportive, through intravenous fluids or oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes. There is also no vaccine in place though there are some promising studies done.
Compared to other incurable diseases, Marburg Virus though destructive, is not as prevalent. Regardless, this is one disease we hope to eradicate as well from this planet.