Marburg virus disease is a highly contagious viral hemorrhagic fever in the same family as the Ebola virus. It is caused by the Marburg virus, a member of the Filoviridae family. Marburg virus disease was first identified in 1967 in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia, when 25 people became ill after handling African green monkeys imported from Uganda.
The Marburg virus is transmitted to people through direct contact with the blood, organs, or bodily fluids of infected animals, such as bats and monkeys. It can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Once infected, people can transmit the virus to others through contact with their blood, organs, or bodily fluids.
The symptoms of Marburg virus disease typically begin 5-10 days after exposure to the virus and include:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
- Hemorrhage (bleeding)
In severe cases, Marburg virus disease can lead to multiple organ failure and death. There is no specific treatment for Marburg virus disease, and supportive care is the mainstay of treatment.
Marburg virus disease is a serious illness with a high fatality rate. However, there are a number of things that people can do to reduce their risk of infection, such as:
- Avoiding contact with bats and monkeys
- Avoiding contact with the blood, organs, or bodily fluids of infected animals
- Cooking meat thoroughly
- Wearing gloves and other protective clothing when handling animals or animal products
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water
There is no vaccine for Marburg virus disease, but researchers are developing one. In the meantime, the best way to protect yourself from Marburg virus disease is to avoid contact with the virus.
Here are some additional tips for staying safe from Marburg virus disease:
- If you must travel to an area where Marburg virus disease is present, be sure to take precautions to avoid contact with bats and monkeys.
- If you come into contact with a bat or monkey, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat.
- If you are sick with Marburg virus disease, isolate yourself from others to prevent the spread of the virus.
If you think you may have been exposed to Marburg virus disease, seek medical attention immediately.