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What is the Marburg Virus?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Marburg Virus is a virus that was actually discovered in 1967 in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany as well as in present day Serbia. When 31 people within the medical community came down with an unexplained hemorrhagic fever, this at first stumped doctors until the Marburg virus was diagnosed.

What is the Marburg Virus?

The Marburg virus is one which that can attack humans and animal primates. In fact, it was caused by an animal based virus that is included in the same viral family that houses the five species of the Ebola virus – the filovirus family.

It had been reported that the Marburg virus first occurred in humans as a result of exposure to the African green monkey. The exposure and first transmission of the virus occurred during scientific research- the African green monkey had been the test animal of choice in Marburg, Germany when medical personnel were working on the polio vaccination.

Presently, science has further discovered that the Marburg virus can also be linked to African fruit bats as the host of origin. Once the African fruit bat infects a primate, whether human or non-human, illness will progress and death is inevitably.

While it is not clear how the Marburg virus is transmitted to humans it is quite clear that once a human is infected, that person is highly contagious. The virus is then spread through bodily fluids or via close contact so wherever there is a chance that any bodily fluid will come in contact with an open wound or scar of another, then the chances of transmittal are great. Such transmission sites may include hospitals.

The symptoms of the disease do not usually show until 5-10 days after exposure. Such symptoms will include fever, chills, headache, myalgia, rashes, diarrhea and various other mild to severe symptoms. During this period, pain will persist and the symptoms will intensify. Eventually, jaundice, pancreatic inflammation, delirium, shock, liver failure, heavy hemorrhaging, organ dysfunction and weight loss will take their toll on the infected individual.

Unfortunately, all of the symptoms of marburg- especially the early ones- tend to mirror those of other infections. It is, therefore, not uncommon for a doctor to mistake the Marburg virus for something else. This is unfortunate because, while the disease can be deadly at times, it is also easily possible to survive it. However survival depends on how well a patient is cared for in a hospital for the Marburg virus, because there is no treatment for the disease

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