WHO Declares End of Marburg Virus Outbreak in Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea has successfully contained the outbreak of Marburg virus infection, according to an announcement by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office for Africa. The highly infectious virus, which is part of the same family as the Ebola virus, had gripped the nation since February 13, making it the first of its kind in Equatorial Guinea. The cessation of the outbreak is being hailed as a significant victory for public health in the region.
Understanding Marburg Virus and Its Impact
Marburg virus is known to be transmitted to humans through fruit bats, and it can spread among humans through direct contact with bodily fluids of infected individuals, as well as surfaces and materials contaminated by these fluids. The virus is notorious for its high mortality rate and has the potential to cause severe hemorrhagic fever in those infected.
In this outbreak, the WHO reported a total of 17 laboratory-confirmed cases and 12 deaths due to the virus. Additionally, 23 deaths were attributed to probable Marburg infection. This outbreak raised alarms globally due to the deadly nature of the virus and its potential for rapid spread.
Effective Response and Ongoing Vigilance
The WHO has applauded the efforts made by Equatorial Guinea and its healthcare workers in combating the virus. The organization revealed that no new cases have been reported over the past 42 days following the discharge of the last patient after successful treatment. This 42-day period is twice the incubation time for the virus, and its completion marks the official end of the outbreak.
Despite this achievement, the WHO is keen to ensure continued vigilance. It has pledged to work alongside Equatorial Guinea to maintain measures such as surveillance and testing to enable prompt response should there be any resurgence of the virus. This includes continued monitoring, emergency preparedness, and response capabilities to quickly identify and isolate any new cases.
Moreover, Tanzania recently made a similar announcement, indicating that the Marburg virus outbreak had also been contained within its borders. These developments in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania reflect the importance of prompt action and collaboration in addressing outbreaks of deadly diseases.
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