On 21 March 2023, the Ministry of Health in Tanzania declared an outbreak of Marburg virus disease. As of 16 Apr 2023, nine cases and six deaths (CFR 66.7%) have been reported. All cases were reported from the Bukoba Rural district in Kagera Region. A total of 212 contacts, of which 206 have completed their monitoring period.
This is Tanzania’s first ever MVD outbreak.
Marburg virus disease is highly virulent and causes hemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88%. It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease. Illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise. Many patients develop severe hemorrhagic symptoms within seven days. The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials.
There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat the virus. However, supportive care – rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids – and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival.
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