Tanzania Confirms Five Dead in Marburg Virus Outbreak

The Tanzanian Minister of Health, Ummy Mwalimu, has confirmed that five have already died from Marburg Virus in an outbreak in Bukoba District, Kagera.

Marburg virus (MARV) is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses and a member of the species Marburg marburgvirus, genus Marburgvirus. It causes Marburg virus disease in primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever. The virus is considered to be extremely dangerous. The World Health Organization (WHO) rates it as a Risk Group 4 Pathogen (requiring biosafety level 4-equivalent containment). In the United States, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ranks it as a Category A Priority Pathogen and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists it as a Category A Bioterrorism Agent. It is also listed as a biological agent for export control by the Australia Group. The virus can be transmitted by exposure to one species of fruit bats or it can be transmitted between people via body fluids through unprotected sex and broken skin. (wiki)

Since the initial recorded outbreak in West Germany during a 1967 lab leak, Marbug Virus has killed about 550 people over the course of 17 incidents with the deadliest being in 2004 in Angola. During that outbreak, 374 cases were recorded in which 329 people died for a case fatality rate of 90%. There is no prominent vaccine.

Marburg virus was heavily tested by the Soviet Union during the Cold War as a biological weapon, especially in Kazakhstan.

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Ethan Alun
Ethan Alun
A United States Naval Academy and American Military University Alumni, Ethan covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.
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