A Look at the Marburg Fever Outbreaks This week we will examine: Marburg Fever in Africa. MARBURG VIRUS The largest and deadliest outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever on record occurred in 2005. The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Angola reported a total of 374 cases, including 329 deaths reported countrywide. The Angolan Government, WHO and other partners, established a surveillance system for identification of suspected cases and follow up of their contacts. Mobile teams were sent to the field to investigate rumors, obtain clinical specimens for laboratory tests, hospitalize suspected patients and monitor their contacts B. For the Marburg fever case, you will discuss the major obstacles and difficulties that public health officials and health care workers had in controlling the outbreak of Marburg fever and the solutions they found to these difficulties. Your response must also include the following: 1. What is Marburg hemorrhagic fever? 2. How is Marburg hemorrhagic fever prevented? 3. What needs to be done to address the threat of Marburg hemorrhagic fever? Must be at least 250 words and supported by at least two references

Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF) is a severe and often fatal illness caused by the Marburg virus, which belongs to the family Filoviridae, along with the Ebola virus. The disease was first identified in 1967 during outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany, as well as in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Since then, sporadic outbreaks have occurred primarily in African countries, with the largest and deadliest outbreak recorded in Angola in 2005.

MHF is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms including high fever, headache, body aches, and malaise. These symptoms are followed by the development of severe hemorrhagic manifestations, such as bleeding from multiple sites, including the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, and skin. The case fatality rate can range from 23% to 95%, depending on the outbreak and the healthcare facilities available for supportive treatment.

Preventing the transmission of Marburg virus is of utmost importance in controlling outbreaks. The virus is believed to have an animal reservoir, most likely fruit bats, and it can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected animals or individuals. Thus, avoiding contact with infected animals or their tissues is essential. Additionally, stringent infection control measures should be implemented in healthcare settings to prevent the spread of the virus from person to person. These measures include proper isolation of suspected cases, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and safe handling and disposal of infected materials.

To address the threat of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, several actions need to be taken. Firstly, surveillance systems need to be in place to promptly detect and report suspected cases. This allows for early intervention and containment measures to be implemented. Countries at risk of MHF outbreaks should also invest in building strong healthcare systems and improving the capacity of healthcare workers to diagnose and manage cases.

Furthermore, public health education and community engagement are crucial for raising awareness about the disease and its prevention. Teaching communities about the importance of avoiding contact with potentially infected animals and practicing good hygiene can reduce the chances of outbreaks and transmission. Building trust and cooperation between communities and healthcare providers is also essential for effective outbreak response.

Research into the Marburg virus and the development of effective therapies and vaccines is another vital aspect of addressing the threat posed by MHF. While there is currently no specific treatment for Marburg virus infection, supportive care and symptom management can improve patient outcomes. Developing antiviral drugs and vaccines can provide further tools for outbreak control and prevention.

In the 2005 outbreak in Angola, public health officials and healthcare workers faced numerous obstacles and difficulties in controlling the spread of Marburg fever. The limited healthcare infrastructure, lack of supplies and resources, and inadequate training of healthcare staff were major challenges. Additionally, fear and stigma surrounding the disease hampered efforts to identify and isolate cases promptly.

To address these difficulties, the Angolan government, along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners, established a surveillance system to identify suspected cases and trace their contacts. Mobile teams were deployed to investigate rumors and obtain clinical specimens for laboratory testing. Suspected patients were hospitalized, and their contacts were monitored. These measures helped to identify and isolate cases, control the outbreak, and prevent further spread.

In conclusion, Marburg hemorrhagic fever is a severe and often deadly disease caused by the Marburg virus. Preventing transmission, strengthening healthcare systems, and improving public health education are crucial for addressing the threat of Marburg fever. Research into therapeutics and vaccines is also essential for outbreak control and prevention. The 2005 outbreak in Angola highlighted the difficulties faced by public health officials and healthcare workers, but through surveillance, rapid response, and community engagement, effective measures were implemented to control the outbreak.