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Five People in Tanzania die from Marburg Virus, WHO Confirms

Image for illustration purposes. (BP/Dokumen)

KIGALI – According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday (21/3), five people died in Tanzania due to the Marburg virus disease outbreak in the Kagera region. The first case of Marburg virus disease was confirmed in the country after Tanzanian health authorities conducted laboratory tests on reports of a strange disease that infected eight people.

The patients showed various symptoms such as fever, vomiting, bleeding, and kidney failure. “Five out of eight cases, including a health worker, died, and the remaining three are still receiving treatment,” said WHO as quoted by Antara News Agency.

“161 contacts have been identified and monitored,” said WHO.

Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, said the efforts of Tanzanian health authorities to identify the cause of the disease indicate a commitment to effectively controlling the outbreak.

“We are working with the government to quickly improve control measures to stop the spread of the virus and end the outbreak as soon as possible,” said Moeti.

WHO said it supports the Tanzanian Ministry of Health in deploying an emergency team to Kagera to conduct further epidemiological investigations.

The Marburg virus disease, which is in the same family as the Ebola virus, is a deadly virus that causes hemorrhagic fever with a death rate of up to 88 percent.

The disease caused by Marburg appears suddenly with high fever, severe headache, and severe body pain. Many patients experience severe hemorrhagic fever for seven days without any approved vaccine and antiviral treatment to treat this virus.

The virus is transmitted to humans through fruit-eating bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the infected person’s body fluids. (kmb/beritadaribali)