Marburg virus belongs to the genus Marburgvirus in the familyFiloviridae and causes a severe hemorrhagic fever, known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF), in both humans and nonhuman primates. Marburg virus disease (MVD) (formerly known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever) was first identified in 1967 during epidemics in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia from importation of infected monkeys from Uganda.
The initial symptoms correspond to development of viremia and include high fever, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, myalgias etc.
The primary defect in patients with viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) is that of increased vascular permeability. Hemorrhagic fever viruses have an affinity for the vascular system, leading initially to signs such as flushing, conjunctival injection, and petechial hemorrhages, usually associated with fever and myalgias. Later, frank mucous membrane hemorrhage may occur, with accompanying hypotension, shock, and circulatory collapse.
The cases of viral hemorrhagic fever in the Netherlands are extremely rare and usually are found in patients who recently have visited endemic areas or among those with potential occupational exposure to hemorrhagic fever viruses.