A Deadly Cousin of Ebola Has Flared Up in Africa

transmission electron microscopic  image of an undisclosed tissue sample of Marburg virus particles‘The World Health Organization is gearing up to test vaccines against the Marburg virus—but the world is still not prepared to contain new viral outbreaks.


…Marburg shares plenty of characteristics with Ebola—the viruses are part of the same family. Like Ebola, it causes viral hemorrhagic fever, resulting in dangerous internal bleeding and organ damage. In some outbreaks, up to 90 percent of cases have been fatal; at the time of writing, five of the people in Tanzania’s eight confirmed cases have died. Symptoms take anywhere from a few days to three weeks to develop, and the virus can spread through human contact, particularly via body fluids of an infected person or corpse. Fruit-eating bats of the Rousettus family are the virus’s suspected host.


So similar are the symptoms that “in this village, most people believe it’s Ebola,” says Abela Kakuru, a resident of Ibaraizibu, which is a 10-minute drive from Bukoba’s affected villages. But there’s one big difference: Unlike with Ebola, no vaccines or antivirals have been approved for Marburg…’

–via WIRED

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