WHO to hold emergency meeting on Equatorial Guinea Marburg outbreak


Marburg fever is a close relative of Ebola. Pictured: Medical staff wear protective gear during a deadly Ebola epidemic that struck Guinea in 2015.— AFP/file
Marburg fever is a detailed relative of Ebola. Pictured: Medical employees put on protecting gear throughout a lethal Ebola epidemic that struck Guinea in 2015.— AFP/file

The UN health agency mentioned it might maintain an emergency assembly Tuesday after at the very least 9 individuals in Equatorial Guinea died from Marburg haemorrhagic fever, a cousin of the Ebola virus.

The World Well being Organisation “will convene an pressing assembly of the Marburg virus vaccine consortium (MARVAC)” at 3 pm (1400 GMT), the WHO mentioned.

MARVAC consists of representatives from the sector of vaccine analysis and growth, working to develop vaccines towards the Marburg virus.

The Marburg virus is a extremely harmful pathogen that causes extreme fever, usually accompanied by bleeding and organ failure.

It’s a part of the so-called filovirus household that additionally consists of the Ebola virus, which has wreaked havoc in a number of earlier outbreaks in Africa.

There are at the moment no vaccines or antiviral remedies permitted to deal with Marburg, however potential remedies, together with blood merchandise, immune therapies and drug therapies, in addition to early candidate vaccines, are being evaluated, WHO mentioned.

Tuesday’s announcement got here after Equatorial Guinea’s well being minister, Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba, mentioned late Monday that 9 individuals had died within the nation’s first outbreak of the illness.

He mentioned a well being alert had been declared in Kie-Ntem province and within the neighbouring district of Mongomo, with a “lockdown plan carried out” after consulting with the WHO.

The lockdown is affecting 4,325 individuals in Kie-Ntem, he mentioned.

The federal government introduced final week that it was investigating the reason for suspected circumstances of hemorrhagic fever in a densely forested japanese area close to the borders of Gabon and Cameroon on Africa’s central western coast.

But it surely mentioned solely three individuals had proven “mild signs”.

The minister added that 9 deaths occurred between January 7 and February 7, with testing nonetheless to be carried out on a “suspicious” demise in a hospital on February 10.

The WHO mentioned in a press release Monday that along with the 9 deaths, 16 different individuals in Kie-Ntem had proven suspect signs together with fever and vomiting blood.

The pure host of the Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, which carries the virus however doesn’t fall sick from it.

However the animals can go the virus to primates in shut proximity, together with people, and human-to-human transmission then happens by means of contact with blood or different bodily fluids.

Fatality charges in confirmed circumstances have ranged from 24% to 88% in earlier outbreaks, relying on the virus pressure and case administration, in response to the WHO.


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