Marburg fever: health official gives advice on countries to avoid

Marburg fever is present in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, which are the countries most affected by this virus at this time. It is important to protect yourself by following the recommended barrier measures. The disease has caused at least twelve deaths in Equatorial Guinea and five in Tanzania.

The origin of this new epidemic

This new epidemic of Marburg virus is mainly present in bats, people who have been in contact with these animals are the most at risk.

Dr. Farida Al Hosany, Director of the Infectious Diseases Sector of the Abu Dhabi Health Center advises Emiratis not to travel to their countries “for the time being”. Until the exact nature of the Marburg virus is determined by scientists, no means of vaccination can be made available.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that limited cases of the disease have been confirmed in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea,” said Dr. Farida Al Hosany.

How to protect yourself from Marburg fever

If you last traveled to Tanzania or Equatorial Guinea, please take the necessary health precautions and isolate yourself so as not to infect others around you.

Please go to a medical center as soon as possible if you have one or more symptoms. You must inform the medical staff of your last visits to these highly contaminated countries.

If you absolutely must travel to these countries, you must :

  • Stay away from susceptible people, avoid physical contact and avoid touching surfaces that have been touched by infected people
  • Avoid touching animals such as monkeys, avoid caves where bats are found
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap when possible or with hydroalcoholic gel
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands

Images of the Marburg fever virus
Images of the Marburg fever virus

Symptoms of the Marburg virus

The first symptoms are fever, chills, headache and myalgia .Five days after the first symptoms, signs of a rash visible mainly on the chest, back and abdomen may appear. Nausea, diarrhea and sore throat may also occur. The most serious symptoms are jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas and severe weight loss.

The Ministry of Health confirms that precautionary measures are being taken in accordance with international health standards to control this new epidemic. The Marburg virus is being closely monitored to assess its extent and severity worldwide.