The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of Tanzania’s first-ever Marburg epidemic on Friday. Marburg is a very hazardous virus related to Ebola and has a death rate of up to 88 percent.
According to WHO, nine cases were reported during the outbreak, which was notified in March in the northwest Kagera region. Six people died as a result of the outbreak.
Fever, headaches, exhaustion, and the appearance of bloody vomit and diarrhea are among the signs of Marburg. It is spread to people by fruit bats and is in the same virus family as Ebola.
The WHO noted that rapid action by its local office, in cooperation with the Tanzanian government, played a significant role in controlling the disease and preventing its future spread, even though there are presently no vaccines or antiviral therapies for Marburg.
“Tanzania has effectively stopped this outbreak and mitigated the potentially devastating consequences of a highly infectious disease,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s director for Africa.
Scientists caution that the global pandemic threat has increased due to human activity encroaching into bat habitats, where Marburg and other viruses originate.
Marburg outbreaks have occurred over the past two years in four African nations, including Tanzania, where the virus has not previously been identified in people. Since February, an outbreak has also been going on in Equatorial Guinea.
According to the WHO, the final verified case in Tanzania was virus-free on April 19. After a required 42-day countdown, an outbreak is officially over.