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Five people pass away in Tanzania in the nation’s first known Marburg virus infections

By 03/22/2023 12:56 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

On Tuesday, the public health ministry announced that five recent mysterious fatalities in northwest Tanzania were the nation’s first-ever cases of the deadly Marburg virus.

The cases had been restricted in the Kagera region, where it began, according to health minister Ummy Mwalimu.

After eight persons in the area had signs of the virus that may kill up to 88% of its victims, including fever, vomiting, bleeding, and renal failure, the National Public Health Laboratory tested samples.

While the identity of the other four was not immediately revealed, one of the five fatalities was a health worker. According to the authorities, 161 contacts are being watched while the three survivors are being treated.

StatNews quoted Mwalimu as adding that the same family included five sick persons.

The World Health Organization praised the nation’s prompt action and openness.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, stated in a statement, “The efforts by Tanzania’s health authorities to discover the etiology of the disease is a clear sign of the determination to respond to the outbreak successfully.” To quickly stop the virus’s spread and end the outbreak, “we are working with the authorities to scale up control measures rapidly.”

To support the epidemiological investigation, the WHO deployed an emergency team. Tanzania is skilled at handling medical emergencies. In the recent past, cholera, dengue, and COVID-19 have all spread there.

The country should be well-prepared to handle this latest issue thanks to the lessons learned and advancements achieved during prior recent epidemics, according to Moeti.

Kenya and Uganda, two neighboring nations, were on high alert for the highly contagious virus, which originates in fruit bats and infects humans through direct contact with bodily fluids of sick persons and contaminated surfaces and materials.

There have been outbreaks and individual cases in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Ghana. Equatorial Guinea is also dealing with a minor episode discovered last month.

Just supportive care is available; there are no medications or vaccinations.


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