Ethiopia, Addis Abeba, 14 February 2023 – The Kie Ntem province in the nation’s northwest was the site of a verified Marburg virus disease (MVD) outbreak, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH) of Equatorial Guinea on February 13, 2023. From two settlements in this province, there have been reports of one confirmed case, nine deaths, and 16 suspected cases. This is the first time MVD has been identified as an outbreak in Equatorial Guinea. The findings of the genome sequencing are still pending, and the outbreak’s origin is still unknown.
On February 7, 2023, a district health official discovered the outbreak. The first verified case as well as additional probable instances showed symptoms of fever, exhaustion, bloody vomit, and diarrhoea. Results of laboratory testing performed at the Institut Pasteur reference laboratory in Senegal revealed that out of the eight samples, one was positive for MVD.
As a zoonotic hemorrhagic disease brought on by the Marburg virus, MVD is a serious and frequently fatal condition that affects people. The Marburg virus typically infects humans through fruit bats. Direct contact with bodily fluids from sick people or use of equipment and other materials that have been contaminated with infectious blood or tissues, infected blood, or infected people’s body fluids are the two main ways that human-to-human transmission happens. Since there is currently no vaccination or particular treatment for MVD, all patients who arrive with the condition should start receiving supportive care right once. Transmission should be avoided by following the same infection prevention and control measures as other viral hemorrhagic fevers like Ebola.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has sent rapid response teams to support additional investigations with the assistance of partners. In addition, there are continuous case management, contact tracking, and active case searches in the affected areas.
In order to aid in the response operations in the nation, the Africa CDC has sent a team of specialists to Equatorial Guinea. In order to support the cross-border context of the outbreak and direct regional surveillance tactics in confining it, the Africa CDC has also enlisted the assistance of the ministries of health and social welfare of Equatorial Guinea and its neighbouring nations (Gabon and Cameroon).
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