Countries Are Issuing Travel Advisories Against Marburg Virus. What Is It? How Does It Spread?

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
Countries Are Issuing Travel Advisories Against Marburg Virus. What Is It? How Does It Spread?

In recent news, the Australian government has advised travellers to “exercise a high degree of caution” due to an outbreak of the Marburg virus in Tanzania, Uganda, and Gabon. Similarly, many other countries have issued travel advisories for all travellers due to this dangerous virus. But what is this virus? How does it spread? Are there any precautionary measures? Keep reading to learn more. 

Countries Are Issuing Advisories Against Marburg Virus 

Before the Australian government, some days ago, the UAE government issued a travel advisory against the spread of Marburg virus. The name of this virus can be seen or heard everywhere, from news channels to social media. 

All About Marburg Virus 

The Marburg virus is a zoonotic virus that was originally spread from animals to humans. It is a member of the family Filoviridae and the genus Marburgvirus. The Filoviridae family of viruses, which includes the Marburg and Ebola viruses, is capable of causing epidemics with high fatality rates. (as per WHO)

The infected person can experience nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore tongue, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea. The symptoms might get progressively worse and turn into jaundice, extreme weight loss, pancreatic inflammation, delirium, liver failure, major bleeding, and multi-organ dysfunction. 

marburg Virus
A representative image of corona virus (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Diagnosis, Spread And Precautionary Measures

Direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected individuals, as well as with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids, causes Marburg virus to disseminate from person to person.

More severe illness, quick deterioration, and potentially a higher fatality rate are linked to transmission via contaminated injection equipment or through needlestick wounds. 

Direct contact with the deceased’s corpse during funeral rites has been linked to the spread of the same. As long as the virus is present in a person’s circulation, they are contagious.

Due to the non-specific nature of the early indications and symptoms of MVD, early detection and diagnosis can be difficult. Cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and/or blood samples, as well as throat and nasal swabs, can all be used to identify the virus in the early stages of the disease. 

Avoiding any sort of contact with the infected person and practising basic hand hygiene are the basic precautionary measures suggested by WHO for the general public. 

Also read: UAE Issues Travel Advisory Urging Citizens To Postpone Travel To These Two African Countries

If you are travelling to these countries, make sure you check the travel advisories.

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