- Bacterial Infections 101 Pictures Slideshow
- Take the Tummy Trouble Quiz
- Hepatitis C Slideshow Pictures
- Marburg virus disease facts
- What is Marburg virus disease?
- What causes Marburg disease?
- What are the symptoms and signs of Marburg infection? What is the incubation period for a Marburg virus infection?
- What are risk factors for getting Marburg infections?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose Marburg viral infections?
- What treatment is available for Marburg virus infections?
- What specialists treat Marburg infections?
- Is it possible to prevent Marburg virus infections?
- What is the prognosis for a Marburg virus infection? What complications may occur with Marburg infections?
- What research is ongoing about Marburg virus infections?
- Why is Africa now seeing so many cases of what were relatively rare viral diseases like Ebola and Marburg virus infections?
Marburg virus disease facts
- Marburg virus disease is endemic in Africa (likely in African green monkeys and certain bats) and can be transmitted to humans.
- The disease can be transmitted from person to person by exposure to blood and other bodily secretions.
- Marburg virus disease is caused by viruses that produce symptoms of fever, chills, headaches and muscle aches early in the disease; symptoms worsen and may lead to hemorrhagic fever and death.
- Risk factors include exposure to African green monkeys and certain bats; in addition, exposure to an infected human is high risk factor.
- The diagnosis of Marburg virus disease is usually done by specialized laboratories.
- Treatment is limited to supportive care, usually in an intensive-care unit.
- Specialists that may be consulted include critical-care specialists, infectious-disease specialists, hematologists, lung specialists, and others.
- Prevention of Marburg viral disease involves avoiding contact with African animals that may carry the disease and using strict isolation procedures to avoid any bodily fluids or tissues from humans infected with Marburg viruses.
- The prognosis for Marburg virus disease is only fair to poor; fatality rates vary from about 23%-90%.
- Complications of Marburg virus infections include eye, nerve, and bleeding problems.
- Research is ongoing; Africa is experiencing more problems with viral diseases as humans increase their contact with African animals that previously had little contact with humans.
What is Marburg virus disease?
In 1967, laboratory workers, all in the same lab in Marburg, Germany, were hospitalized with an unknown disease. The laboratory workers were exhibiting the same symptoms, including fever, diarrhea, vomiting, massive bleeding from many different organs, shock, and collapse of the circulatory system. In this outbreak, 31 people were infected, and seven died. The source of the infection was traced to a virus infecting African green monkeys that were imported from Uganda, Africa, and were being used for polio vaccine research. This new virus was eventually designated as a new virus family termed Filoviridae. The other members of the family are Ebola viruses (five different species). Filoviridae contain one negative-sense RNA strand and have a covering or envelope composed of a lipid membrane. The disease Marburg virus causes is termed Marburg virus disease.
The most recent outbreaks of Marburg virus disease have occurred in Uganda. In 2012, 15 individuals were diagnosed and four people died (27% fatality rate). Again, the Ugandan Ministry of Health reported on Oct. 5, 2014, that a health-care worker died of Marburg virus disease (formerly known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever [Marburg HF]) on Sept. 30, 2014. The source of his exposure is not clear. This is of interest since Marburg virus is a close relative of the Ebola virus, and both produce clinical signs and symptoms that are often indistinguishable. Health officials said that about 80 people who were in contact with the man who died have been identified and are being were observed for 21 days for signs and symptoms of the disease. No one else contracted the disease.