Fruit bats are the natural reservoir of Marburg virus

July 19, 2022By Abdulaziz Nchirrah

The WHO said that Guinea has confirmed a single case in the first-ever outbreak in West Africa, which was declared over in September 2021.

According to the organization, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda have all had previous outbreaks and isolated instances of Marburg.

Bats and other infected animals can spread the marburg virus.

The public is consequently urged to stay away from caves where bat colonies live and to thoroughly prepare all meat products before consuming them, according to Ghanaian health authorities.

ghana health service
Ghan Health Laboratory
conformed-case-of-Marbug-like-ebol
Electron micrograph of the Marburg virus
Electron micrograph of the Marburg
https://twitter.com/bbcworldservice/status/1549330136289492994?s=20&t=vSiQFPqfUBDxwCRIOd4OxQ
WHO GHANA tweeted from BBC

MVD Outbreak Distribution Map

Countries reporting outbreaks of Marburg virus disease

  • Angola
  • DR Congo
  • Germany
  • Guinea
  • Kenya
  • Serbia
  • South Africa
  • Uganda
  • Ghana
Ashanti Region
Outbreak of Marbug viruses Ashanti Region in Ghana

Both humans and non-human primates can be afflicted by the uncommon but severe hemorrhagic fever known as Marburg virus disease (MVD). The Marburg virus, a genetically distinct zoonotic (or, animal-borne) RNA virus of the filovirus family, is the culprit behind MVD. The only other known members of the filovirus family are the six different species of the Ebola virus.

When hemorrhagic fever outbreaks occurred simultaneously in labs in Marburg, Frankfurt, and Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1967, the Marburg virus was initially identified (now Serbia). Thirty-one persons fell ill, starting with laboratory workers and progressing to a number of medical professionals and family members who had been tending to them. There were seven reported deaths. The first afflicted individuals had come into contact with African green monkeys smuggled into Uganda or their tissues while doing research. Adding another case was diagnosed retrospectively.

The reservoir host of Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus. Fruit bats infected with Marburg virus do not show obvious signs of illness. Primates (including people) can become infected with Marburg virus, and may develop serious disease with high mortality. Further study is needed to determine if other species may also host the virus.

Fruit bats are the natural reservoir of Marburg virus

Signs and Symptoms

According to Centers of Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)

After an incubation period of 2-21 days, symptom onset is sudden and marked by fever, chills, headache, and myalgia. Around the fifth day after the onset of symptoms, a maculopapular rash, most prominent on the trunk (chest, back, stomach), may occur. Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea may appear. Symptoms become increasingly severe and can include jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction.

Clinical diagnosis of Marburg virus disease (MVD) can be difficult. Many of the signs and symptoms of MVD are similar to other infectious diseases (such as malaria or typhoid fever) or viral hemorrhagic fevers that may be endemic in the area (such as Lassa fever or Ebola). This is especially true if only a single case is involved.

The case-fatality rate for MVD is between 23-90%. For a complete listing of the case fatality rates for each outbreak, please see the History of Outbreaks table.

https://www.cdc.gov/

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