The disease caused by the Marburg virus. Marburg hemorrhagic fever is a serious and often fatal disease caused by a virus related to that which causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Both illnesses are rare, but they can generate large-scale epidemics with significant fatality rates. There is no specific treatment or vaccine available at the time of writing. The Marburg virus has an 88 percent death rate.
What body system does the Marburg virus attack? Diseases that cause haemorrhagic fevers, such as Marburg, are often fatal as they affect the body’s vascular system (how blood moves through the body). This can lead to significant internal bleeding and organ failure
Emergence of Marburg Virus
Earlier in 1967, number of laboratory workers in Marburg, Germany were admitted after fallen ill to a disease that was not known . Symptoms shown by the workers such as headache, diarrhea, massive bleeding from organs and collapse of the circulatory organs were similar among them.
During this outbreak where about 31 people were infected by new virus, seven died.
In tracing the source of the infection, it was discovered that the infection was probably gotten from African monkeys imported from Uganda, Africa which were meant for polio vaccine production. Hence was designed as a new virus termed filoviridae.
Read also: HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUITS TO THE BODY.
As the years went on, The virus cases increases as many more victims were reported in Angola, Kenya and Uganda in 2008. Two of among the people among the victim were infected after their visit to a cave that was occupied by rousettus bat colonies in Uganda.
Similarities between Marburg Virus and Ebola Virus
Marburg and Ebola viruses are filamentous filoviruses that are distinct from each other but that cause clinically similar diseases characterized by hemorrhagic fevers and capillary leakage. The Ebola virus is slightly more dangerous than the Marburg virus.
Below we take a look at some notable similarities that can be found in both the Marburg virus and Ebola virus.
*Both fever often lead to severe bleeding, organ failure and in most cases, death of whoever that contacted the virus. Both virus where traced to Africa. That is, they are both native of the African continent.
*Marburg and ebola viruses are said to be zoonotic infection that is, the transfer to humans from life cycles in other animals.
*The outbreak of the virus has been witness in the African continent in many different cases.
*Although it is not yet deduced on which of the particular animal either of the virus but was thought that both may be transmitted to humans from monkeys or bat. However, there was is no evidence that could point out to insect as a possible host of the virus.
Ebola virus and Marburg virus are found in animal hosts.
*After its initial transmission, the virus can transmit from person to another with already aforementioned transmission processes.
*The most recent outbreaks of Marburg and Ebola viruses was witnessed in Uganda in 2012 where 15 individual were diagnosed and four among them died.
*As a close accomplice of the virus, its very hard to clinically differentiate between Ebola and Marburg as both often provide sign and symptoms that are very complex to distinguished.
*No drugs has been approved or provided to serve as remedy to the both viruses but rather, a supportive care treatment for complication are been rendered to them.
Marburg Virus Mode of Infection
According to the who the Marburg virus spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
People are majorly infected by Marburg virus when they make themselves exposed to below enlisted checklist.
Rousettus Bat Colonies
Rousettus aegyptiacus, fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be natural hosts of Marburg virus. The Marburg virus is transferred between humans by human-to-human transmission and is transmitted to people by fruit bats.
People who spend more time in area’s, where these bats are populous. Are prone to be infected.
Marburg virus moves from one person to another through physical and direct contact with an infected person body fluid like; blood, urine saliva, feces and possibly breast milk.
They can penetrate and get into the body through the skin that is probably torn or broken or through mucosal membranes like mouth, nose or even eyes.
It has also been reported that there is every tendency for the virus to be passed by its victim through sex as the virus semen is still available for about 5 weeks after its victims has recovered. However, there was no indication that the virus may likely affected a pregnant victim.
Cleansing the corpse or too much contact with the dead patience of the virus can also lead to its contaminated through mouth and eyes.
This part specifically is the reason why most health practitioners or health professionals are at the highest risk of contracting the disease as they are constantly faced with the victims.
Marburg virus can also be transmitted indirectly to another person through objects that contains the infect body fluids.
For instance, medical apparatus like needles, soiled bed linens, or cell cultures that were used in treating an infected victim which was not properly kept and hence get in touched another person can led to its transmission as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Marburg virus disease
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, After a 5- to 10-day incubation period, symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, and myalgia appear suddenly. A maculopapular rash, most evident on the trunk (chest, back, and stomach), may appear around the fifth day after the onset of symptoms.
The common signs and symptoms of the Marburg virus include the following; Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may then appear. Symptoms become increasingly severe and can include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction.
Because many of the signs and symptoms of Marburg hemorrhagic fever are similar to those of other infectious diseases like malaria or typhoid fever, clinical diagnosis of the disease can be challenging, especially if there is only one case.
Marburg hemorrhagic fever has a case-fatality rate of 23-90 percent.
Eye lesions (eg, severe cataracts in children) may develop after recovery from Ebola virus infection. In one adult, severe acute unilateral uveitis developed during the convalescent phase after infection.
A recent follow-up study of patients during convalescence after Ebola virus infection reported that many survivors had major limitations in cognition and vision and in mobility due to joint pain (1 ).
Ebola virus can persist in the central nervous system and ultimately cause a relapse.