Marburg virus

on 26.6.09 with 0 comments

In 1967 there was an epidemic of Marburg virus infection among laboratory staff in Marburg, Germany. These people worked with African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), imported from Uganda. Some people in Frankfurt and Belgrade, Yugoslavia, who came into contact with the same batch of animals also fell ill. In all 32 people were affected : 26 primary infections and 6 secondary infections. The mortality rate of the primary infections was 25%. In the next few years a number of sporadic cases were seen in Zimbabwe (’75), Kenya (’80 and ’87) and a laboratory infection in Russia (’87). In 1999 and 2000 multiple cases were diagnosed in the north east of Congo, in the area of Durba. These were mainly gold prospectors working in very primitive conditions in old mines. There had probably already been a low level of transmission in this area for some considerable time (years). Local research was hindered by social unrest and armed conflicts in the area. The natural reservoir of Marburg virus is unknown, but is is tempting to speculate on a reservoir host which is somehow connected with underground mines. A number of subtypes are recognised Ravn, Musoki, Popp. There are very probably other subtypes as well. There is no vaccine and no effective treatment.

Category: Medical Subject Notes , Medicine Notes



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