Marburg virus is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses and a member of the species Marburg marburgvirus, genus Marburgvirus. Marburg virus (MARV) causes Marburg virus disease in humans and nonhuman primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever
Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection with Ebola or Marburg virus. Early signs and symptoms include:
Fever, Severe headache, Joint and muscle aches, Chills, Weakness, Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include: Nausea and vomiting, Diarrhea (may be bloody), Red eyesRaised rash, Chest pain and cough, Stomach pain, Severe weight loss, Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices, such as ears, nose and rectum), Internal bleeding
Illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise. Muscle aches and pains are a common feature. Severe watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, nausea and vomiting can begin on the third day. Diarrhoea can persist for a week. The appearance of patients at this phase has been described as showing “ghost-like” drawn features, deep-set eyes, expressionless faces, and extreme lethargy. In the 1967 European outbreak, non-itchy rash was a feature noted in most patients between 2 and 7 days after onset of symptoms
Severe cases require intensive supportive care, as patients are frequently in need of intravenous fluids or oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes.
No specific treatment or vaccine is yet available for MHF. Several vaccine candidates are being tested but it could be several years before any are available. New drug therapies have shown promising results in laboratory studies and are currently being evaluated.
Precautionary measures for pig farms in endemic zones
Precautionary measures are needed in pig farms in Africa to avoid pigs becoming infected through contact with fruit bats. Such infection could potentially amplify the virus and cause or contribute to MHF outbreaks.
Reducing the risk of infection in people
In the absence of effective treatment and human vaccine, raising awareness of the risk factors for Marburg infection and the protective measures individuals can take to reduce human exposure to the virus, are the only ways to reduce human infections and deaths.
WHO has created an aide–memoire for standard precautions in health care. Standard precautions are meant to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne and other pathogens. If universally applied, the precautions would help prevent most transmission through exposure to blood and body fluids. Standard precautions are recommended in the care and treatment of all patients regardless of their perceived or confirmed infectious status.
They include the basic level of infection control and include hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct contact with blood and body fluids, prevention of injuries from needle sticks and from other sharp instruments, and a set of environmental controls.