14 cases identified in Equatorial Guinea, 10 of which were fatal; five people have died in eight confirmed cases in Tanzania
By Physician’s Briefing Staff HealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, April 7, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Two ongoing outbreaks of Marburg virus in Africa prompted U.S. health officials to issue an alert on Thursday for doctors to be on the lookout for any cases that might surface in the coming weeks.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also plans to reach out to some travelers arriving in the United States after being in either Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, the two countries where the outbreaks are happening.
“Currently, the risk of MVD [Marburg virus disease] in the United States is low; however, clinicians should be aware of the potential for imported cases. It is important to systematically assess patients for the possibility of viral hemorrhagic fevers,” the CDC said in its alert.
Authorities in Equatorial Guinea have identified 14 cases since Feb. 13. Ten people have died. Another 23 cases are probably caused by the virus, according to the World Health Organization. The people infected do not have known links, so the virus may be spreading undetected. In Tanzania, five people have died in eight confirmed cases. The two outbreaks were likely separate, spreading from an animal host to a human and then between humans, the CDC added.
“Though we do not know yet the origin of the Marburg outbreaks in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, we do know that there continues to be increased capacity in Africa to recognize and test samples for viral hemorrhagic fevers like Marburg and Ebola,” Tieble Traore, M.D., of the World Health Organization, said Tuesday.
The CDC is texting travelers who have been in either of the two countries and asking them to call public health officials if they develop symptoms within 21 days of their return to the United States. There are no direct flights between those countries and the United States. “Currently, no enhanced domestic travel measures are recommended, as the overall risk in the United States is considered low at this time,” the CDC alert said.
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