A new provisional death toll from the Marburg virus outbreak that has been raging for nearly three months in Equatorial Guinea has risen to 11 confirmed deaths, according to a new Health Ministry report on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
The latest death recorded by officials was due to an outbreak of this viral relative of Ebola, which was nearly as lethal on April 3.
The ministry also notes 15 positive instances, none of which are hospitalized, and 385 "followed" contact cases, compared to 604 last week, according to a document dated Monday and Uploaded in a statement on Tuesday.
According to authorities, cases of hemorrhagic fever have moved from the eastern province of Kie-Ntem, where it caused the first recorded deaths on January 7, to Bata, the small central African country's economic hub, where nine cases have been confirmed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urged Equatorial Guinea to report instances of the Marburg virus two weeks ago, fearing a "large-scale epidemic" that may spread to neighbouring Gabon and Cameroon.
WHO announced the deployment of "additional experts," as well as its assistance to Gabon and Cameroon in strengthening their readiness and response to the outbreak.
Tanzania likewise declared the start of a Marburg epidemic on March 21, with five deaths.
The virus is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and spreads in humans by direct contact with infected people's bodily fluids or surfaces and materials. The case fatality rate can reach 88%.
The virus has no licensed vaccination or antiviral treatment. However, supportive care, such as oral or intravenous rehydration, and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival prospects.
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