Neighboring Cameroon is also on the alert for the Ebola-like pathogen, and has restricted movement on the border.
The World Health Organization(WHO) has just convened an urgent meeting due to an outbreak of an Ebola-like, hemorrhagic pathogen known as the Marburg Virus in Equatorial Guinea.
The leading health body brought experts from around the world together to discuss how to ramp up the development of vaccines and therapeutics for Marburg virus.
There are growing fears that the world could be caught off guard by the currently untreatable infection that kills up to 88 percent of the people it infects.
The virus, considered a more dangerous cousin of Ebola, has killed nine people in Equatorial Guinea in the Central African nation’s first outbreak. More than a dozen others are believed to be infected.
Neighboring Cameroon is also on the alert for the pathogen and has restricted movement on the border.
Cameroonian authorities detected two suspected cases of Marburg disease on Monday in Olamze, a commune on the border with Equatorial Guinea, the public health delegate for the region, Robert Mathurin Bidjang, said on Tuesday.
…Neighbouring Cameroon had restricted movement along the border to avoid contagion following reports of an unknown, deadly hemorrhagic fever in Equatorial Guinea last week.
“On the 13th of February, we had two suspected cases. These are two 16-year-old children, a boy and a girl, who have no previous travel history to the affected areas in Equatorial Guinea,” Bidjang said at a meeting in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde.
Forty-two people who came into contact with the two children have been identified and contact tracing was ongoing, he added.
It turns out that bats are the ‘reservoir hosts‘ for the Marbug virus.
Like Ebola, the Marburg virus originates in bats and spreads between people via close contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, or surfaces, like contaminated bed sheets.
Marburg causes Marburg virus disease, a hemorrhagic fever that can affect the body’s organs and cause bleeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Marburg virus is a zoonotic virus that, along with the six species of Ebola virus, comprises the filovirus family, the CDC said.
The rare virus was first identified in 1967 after it caused simultaneous outbreaks of disease in laboratories in Marburg, Germany and Belgrade, according to the CDC..
Thirty-one people who were exposed to the virus while conducting research on monkeys became ill, and seven died, according to the CDC.
African fruit bats are the reservoir hosts of the virus, the CDC said.
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