CDC Asks Doctors To Look Out For Deadly Marburg Virus Cases


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent a health advisory to clinicians and public health departments Thursday urging them to look out for cases of the deadly Marburg virus.

Marburg is a virus similar to Ebola, causing hemorrhagic fevers with a more than 80% fatality rate. The disease reemerged in Equatorial Guinea, Africa, in February. The initial outbreak killed at least nine people in the nation, before moving into Tanzania where at least five deaths have been reported thus far.

The CDC stated that no confirmed cases of Marburg have been reported in the U.S. in relation to these outbreaks, but doctors should be on the lookout given the recent outbreak. Within the health advisory sent to health officials, clinicians, and others, the CDC summarized its recommendations.

“Currently, the risk of MVD in the United States is low; however, clinicians should be aware of the potential for imported cases,” the CDC wrote in the advisory. “It is important to systematically assess patients for the possibility of viral hemorrhagic fevers (including MVD or Ebola disease) through a triage and evaluation process, including a detailed travel history. Early identification of MVD or other viral hemorrhagic fevers is important for providing appropriate and prompt patient care and preventing the spread of infection”

There is no vaccine against Marburg virus, the CDC noted. An individual infected with the virus is only contagious when symptoms start to appear, including fever, muscle and joint pain, convulsions, gastrointestinal issues, unexplained bleeding and loss of appetite. (RELATED: ‘Everyone Was Throwing Up’: More Than 100 Students Contract Virus At School Dance)

The two recent outbreaks of Marburg in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania are the first ever reported in each nation. Anyone who has visited a region where Marburg cases are present should monitor their health for at least 21 days.