In a follow-up on Tanzania’s announcement of its first-ever outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice and offered advice for travelers to protect themselves.
To date, eight cases have been identified and five have died. Confirmed cases have been reported in the Kagera Region in northern Tanzania.
Local health authorities are working to identify cases and conduct case investigations, strengthen surveillance, identify sources of transmission, and educate communities about the risks and dangers of Marburg.
CDC says travelers to this area should:
- Avoid contact with sick people who have symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, and rash.
- Avoid contact with blood and other body fluids.
- Avoid contact with fruit bats and the caves and mines where they live.
- Avoid contact with non-human primates (e.g., chimpanzees, gorillas).
- Travelers should separate themselves from others (isolate) and seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, chills, muscle pain, rash, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel (up to 21 days). Travelers should call ahead before going to a healthcare facility and tell the doctor that they’ve been to an area with Marburg virus.
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Marburg virus disease is a rare and deadly disease that has, at times, caused outbreaks in several African countries. It is spread by contact with blood or body fluids of a person infected with Marburg virus. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects (such as clothing, bedding, needles, and medical equipment) or by contact with animals, such as bats and nonhuman primates, who are infected with Marburg virus.
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Marburg virus disease is a viral hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, rash, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, chest pain, and unexplained bleeding or bruising. Infection with Marburg virus is often fatal. There is no specific treatment or approved vaccine for Marburg virus disease.
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