MARBURG DISEASE. Responsible for a new epidemic in Africa, the Marburg virus is closely monitored by health authorities because it is very contagious and causes the death of infected people in 50 to 90% of cases. Can it arrive in France?
Detected for the first time in 1967 in Germanythe virus Marburg has been raging (again) in Africa since the beginning of 2023. First in Guinea in February 2023 and today in Tanzania. “Marburg virus disease is extremely virulent and causes a hemorrhagic feverwith a mortality rate of up to 88%” reminds the WHO in a press release dated March 21, 2023. This virus belongs to the same family as the one that causes the disease Ebola. Has he ever been detected in France ? What precautions ? What are the symptoms Marburg virus? Know everything.
Marburg virus is a virus of the filovirus family (filoviruses). These viruses “are considered a potential biological weapon (…). Handling them requires extremely safe conditions” explained Santé Publique France in 2015. It causes “Marburg virus disease”, a rare disease. This was identified in 1967 during outbreaks that occurred simultaneously with Marburg and in Frankfurt (cities in germany), as well as Belgrade (Serbia). This virus is very contagious and deadly in 50 to 88% of cases.
No, the Marburg virus has not never been identified in France nowadays. The disease is considered there as “African haemorrhagic fever” and as such is one of the notifiable diseases In France. “The risk of importation is generally very low in France” estimates Public Health France.
The Marburg virus is very contagious. It is transmitted between men, by direct contact with blood (a scratch is enough)secretions, body fluids (saliva, sweat, semen…) of infected people, or with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding or clothing) contaminated with these liquids.
THE natural hosts of the Marburg virus are the fruit bats belonging to the genus Rousettus aegyptiacus, Who live in Africa. This bat transmits the virus to humans (or animals). The first cases of human contamination identified in Germany and Serbia were linked to laboratory work on African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda. 32 people were infected and 7 died. Cases were subsequently reported in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa (in a person who traveled to Zimbabwe) and Uganda.
This virus is called the city in Germany “Marburg” where the first cases were discovered.
After an incubation ranging from 2 to 21 days, symptoms appear. At first :
Then the following symptoms may appear:
The most serious symptom being the occurrence ofsevere bleeding within 7 days (stools, vomiting, nosebleeds, gums, vagina) at risk of death.
There is no no treatment to treat Marburg virus disease. Oral or intravenous rehydration and treatment of symptoms can help improve chances of survival.
The average mortality rate is estimated at 50% but can reach 88% according to the WHO. Death then occurs 8 to 9 days after onset of symptoms and it is usually preceded by profuse blood loss and shock.
Tanzania confirms first outbreak of Marburg virus disease, WHO, 21 March 2023
Marburg virus diseaseWHO, 7 April 2021
Marburg virus hemorrhagic fever, Public Health France, May 2015
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