The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday that five individuals had died in Tanzania from the Marburg virus sickness following an outbreak in the country’s north-west Kagera district.
The first-ever instances of Marburg virus sickness in Tanzania were identified after laboratory testing were conducted on a reported odd ailment that had affected eight individuals.
The patients had suffered fever, vomiting, bleeding, and renal failure, among other symptoms.
Five of the eight cases, including one health care worker, have died, while the remaining three are being treated, according to the WHO.
161 contacts have been identified and are currently being watched.
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, stated that Tanzania’s health authorities’ efforts to identify the disease’s source demonstrated their determination to respond effectively to the outbreak.
Moeti stated, “We are working with the government to immediately scale up control measures to stop the spread of the virus and quickly end the outbreak.”
The WHO stated that it is assisting the country’s Ministry of Health in deploying an emergency team to Kagera to conduct additional epidemiological investigations.
The Marburg virus disease, which is in the same family as the Ebola virus, is a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever with a mortality rate of up to 88 percent.
The Marburg virus causes a sudden onset of high fever, severe headaches, and severe malaise.
Many patients develop severe hemorrhagic signs within seven days, and there are currently no approved vaccinations or antiviral therapies for the virus.
The virus is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and spreads by direct contact with the bodily fluids, surfaces, and objects of infected individuals.