Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever with similar symptoms to Ebola. Hemorrhagic fevers are a diverse group of animal and human illnesses that may be caused by five distinct families of RNA viruses: Arenaviridae, Filoviridae, Bunyaviridae, Flaviviridae, and Rhabdoviridae. Marburg belongs to the Filoviridae family of viruses just like its cousin Ebola, even though Ebola is the most dangerous of them all. These types of hemorrhagic fevers are characterized by fever and bleeding disorders that can lead to high fever, joint and muscle pains and death if not properly contained. Marbug was first noticed in the German cities Marburg from which the virus derives its name and Frankfurt and the Yugoslav capital Belgrade in the 1960s before being reported in Uganda last month.
Marburg disease outbreaks have been recorded in Germany where it was first reported, then South Africa, Kenya, Koltsovo, DRC, Angola and more recently Uganda on September 28th when the first case was reported. Healthcare provider, IMG Kampala has put together a cool infographic about the Marburg Virus in Uganda.
— IMG Kampala Uganda (@IMG_Healthcare) October 8, 2014
Unlike West Africa where Marburg’s cousin Ebola has claimed the lives of up to 3,400 people, analysts believe that Uganda is more prepared and capable of handling the epidermic. This is partly because Uganda has had outbreaks of Ebola in the past and has therefore developed capacity within itself to contain Hemorrhagic fevers.
The ministry of health has already mounted efforts to contain the disease by quarantining the 80 people who came in contact with the first patient. Marbug has an incubation period 14 days compared with Ebola’s 21 and is transmitted from fruit bats to humans. Within humans, it’s transmitted through having direct contact with wounds and body fluids like blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.