The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of deadly Marburg fever in Equatorial Guinea over. Within six weeks since the last patient was discharged, no new cases had become known in the country on Africa's west coast, the WHO regional office for Africa said on Thursday. A total of 17 confirmed and 23 suspected cases have been reported since the beginning of February. 35 people died. Equatorial Guinea with 1.5 million inhabitants is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Last week, the WHO also declared the end of a Marburg outbreak in East African Tanzania with nine infections recorded and six deaths reported. In both countries, protective measures had been implemented with the help of the WHO to prevent the infection from spreading.
The Marburg virus, which is related to the Ebola pathogen, is initially transmitted from animals to humans. The disease is highly contagious through contact with bodily fluids. Patients initially have a high fever, sore throat, muscle pain, abdominal pain and headache, as well as diarrhea. In severe cases, there is also heavy bleeding and an attack on the central nervous system. The virus is called Marburg because laboratory employees in the Hessian city were infected with the previously unknown virus in test monkeys in 1967.