Marburg Virus hits Japan – maximum fatality rate of 88%

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The Marburg virus is a highly infectious and often deadly virus that is similar to the Ebola virus. It was first discovered in 1967 in Marburg, Germany, where it infected laboratory workers who were exposed to infected African green monkeys. Since then, there have been several outbreaks of the virus in Africa, but now the virus has made its way to Japan.

The Marburg virus is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids or tissues, such as blood, saliva, and vomit. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated objects, such as needles and syringes. Once a person is infected, the virus attacks their immune system and can cause severe symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and vomiting.

The first case of the Marburg virus in Japan was confirmed on April 20th, 2023. A 29-year-old man who had recently traveled to Uganda tested positive for the virus. He was immediately isolated and treated, but unfortunately, he passed away a few days later. The Japanese government has since been working to contain the outbreak and prevent the virus from spreading further.

The government has advised people who have recently traveled to Uganda or other areas where the virus is present to monitor their health and seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms. They have also implemented strict screening measures at airports and other ports of entry to prevent infected individuals from entering the country.

The Japanese government has also set up a task force to coordinate the response to the outbreak. This task force includes representatives from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, as well as local governments and healthcare providers. They are working to identify and isolate any individuals who may have come into contact with the infected man, and they are also conducting extensive contact tracing to identify any other cases of the virus.

While the Marburg virus is a serious threat, the Japanese government is taking swift and decisive action to contain the outbreak. They are working closely with international health organizations, such as the World Health Organization, to share information and coordinate their efforts. They are also urging the public to remain calm and to take precautions, such as washing their hands frequently and avoiding close contact with sick individuals.

Mortality Rate: The mortality rate of the Marburg virus is high, with up to 88% of infected individuals dying from the disease. The virus attacks the immune system and can cause severe symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and vomiting. As the disease progresses, it can lead to severe bleeding and organ failure, which can be fatal.

  • Entry into the Body: The Marburg virus enters the body through contact with infected bodily fluids or tissues, such as blood, saliva, and vomit. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated objects, such as needles and syringes.
  • Attack on the Immune System: Once the virus enters the body, it attacks the immune system and begins to replicate itself rapidly. The virus primarily targets the cells of the immune system and the lining of blood vessels, which can lead to damage and inflammation.
  • Symptoms: Within 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, individuals may begin to experience symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and vomiting. As the disease progresses, it can lead to severe bleeding, organ failure, and shock, which can be fatal.
  • Mortality: The mortality rate of the Marburg virus is high, with up to 88% of infected individuals dying from the disease. This is due in part to the fact that there is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for the virus. Supportive care can help manage the symptoms and improve the chances of survival, but there is no cure.
  • Problems: The Marburg virus poses several problems for public health officials and healthcare providers. One of the biggest challenges is identifying and isolating infected individuals, as the symptoms can be similar to those of other diseases. Additionally, the virus can be spread through contact with contaminated objects, which can make it difficult to contain. Another problem is the lack of specific treatment or vaccine for the virus, which means that supportive care is the only option for managing the disease.

Treatment: There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for the Marburg virus. However, supportive care can help manage the symptoms and improve the chances of survival. This includes providing intravenous fluids, electrolytes, and blood transfusions, as well as treating any secondary infections that may arise.

World Case: Since its discovery in 1967, there have been several outbreaks of the Marburg virus in Africa. The largest outbreak occurred in Angola in 2005, where more than 300 cases and 200 deaths were reported. Other outbreaks have been reported in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya.

The recent outbreak in Japan is concerning as it marks the first time the virus has been reported in Asia. As of now, there have only been a few confirmed cases in Japan, but public health officials are closely monitoring the situation and taking steps to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been closely following the outbreak and providing support to affected countries. They have also been working to raise awareness about the virus and provide guidance on how to prevent its spread. The WHO has emphasized the importance of early detection, isolation of infected individuals, and effective contact tracing to prevent the virus from spreading.


MVD Outbreak in Equatorial Guinea
On February 7, 2023, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Equatorial Guinea reported a cluster of deaths suspected to be caused by a viral hemorrhagic fever. The deaths occurred in early January among people in two villages in the district of Nsok-Nsomo, in the eastern province of Kié-Ntem, Río Muni Region.
4/6/23, 11:43 AM Health Alert Network (HAN) – 00489 | Marburg Virus Disease Outbreaks in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania
https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2023/han00489.asp 2/5

On February 12, 2023, clinical samples were collected from known contacts of the decedents and sent to the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, where one sample was confirmed positive for Marburg virus by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR). This index (first confirmed) patient presented with fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and convulsions and died the same day. This patient appears to be epidemiologically linked to four deceased community members from one of the affected villages in Nsok-Nsomo district.

On March 13, 2023, two additional samples collected from people in Kié-Ntem province tested positive for Marburg virus by RT-PCR performed at a CDC-supported field laboratory at the Regional Hospital of Ebibeyin. As of April 5, 2023, 14 laboratoryconfirmed MVD cases have been identified from five districts across four provinces in Equatorial Guinea. Ten of these cases were fatal. There are no known epidemiologic links between patients in one province, Centre Sur. This, taken together with the wide geographic spread of the outbreak within the country, suggests that there may be undetected community spread of the virus in the country. All suspect cases in nearby surrounding countries have been confirmed negative to date.

MVD Outbreak in Tanzania
On March 21, 2023, the Ministry of Health of Tanzania announced an MVD outbreak. The announcement followed the identification of Marburg virus by RT-PCR in clinical samples collected from patients in several villages in the northwest Kagera region. As of April 5, 2023, 8 laboratory-confirmed MVD cases have been reported. Five of these infections were fatal. Based on currently available information, all these individuals with MVD are from Kagera Region in Tanzania and appear to be epidemiologically linked


In conclusion, the Marburg virus has hit Japan, but the government is taking decisive action to contain the outbreak and prevent it from spreading further. While the situation is concerning, it is important to remember that there are effective measures that can be taken to prevent the spread of the virus. By working together and following the advice of public health officials, we can overcome this challenge and protect our communities from this deadly disease.

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