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WHO to Hold Urgent Meeting Over Marburg Virus Outbreak in Equatorial Guinea

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Syringe With Drops - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.02.2023
Earlier, Equatorial Guinea declared a health alert in the eastern province of Kie-Ntem, affected by the deadly Marburg virus. According to Health Minister Mitoha Ondo'o Ayekaba, 4,325 people are at present under quarantine in the province.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting in connection with the outbreak of the Marburg virus in Equatorial Guinea.

"We will convene an urgent meeting to outline proposed research priorities towards the newly identified Marburg outbreak in Equatorial Guinea," the UN body stated. It announced that its coordination mechanism called R&D Blueprint, will hold talks with MARVAC, the WHO-coordinated consortium for the development of a vaccine against the virus, "to discuss vaccine and therapeutic candidates".

It was earlier reported that between 7 January and 7 February, nine Equatoguineans died from the Marburg virus, an extremely virulent disease, similar to Ebola and causing hemorrhagic fever. According to reports, 16 people have been suspected to have the virus "with symptoms including fever, fatigue and blood-stained vomit and diarrhea".
Other samples are being analyzed at the Institut Pasteur reference laboratory in Senegal.
In Cameroon, which borders Equatorial Guinea, health authorities announced last week that they had taken preventive measures.
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Earlier, outbreaks and sporadic cases of the virus had been recorded in Angola, Ghana, Guinea, DR Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
Aside from being highly virulent, Marburg has an 88 percent likelihood of death, according to the WHO. It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease. Illness caused by the Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise. Many patients develop bleeding symptoms.
There is no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment against the virus, but, as the UN health body notes, rehydration and treatment of specific symptoms increases the chances of survival. The virus is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and is spread among humans through direct contact with bodily fluids from infected people, as well as infected surfaces and materials.
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