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April 12, 2023
CDC issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory on April 6 regarding Marburg virus disease, a rare but highly fatal viral hemorrhagic fever caused by two zoonotic viruses, Marburg virus and Ravn virus, that are closely related to ebolaviruses within family Filoviridae. In February and March 2023, two distinct outbreaks of Marburg virus were reported in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania. These outbreaks mark the first time that Marburg virus has been identified in either Equatorial Guinea or Tanzania, though the virus has been identified previously in neighboring countries and the reservoir, the Egyptian fruit bat, is known to be present in both countries. Available information suggests that these outbreaks may have originated separately in each country. To date, there is no evidence that these two outbreaks are epidemiologically linked. Viral genetic sequencing from Tanzania is in process; these results, along with sequence data available from Equatorial Guinea, will further inform whether the outbreaks emerged separately through distinct animal-to-human spillover events.
A person with MVD is not contagious until symptoms appear. Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal symptoms, or unexplained bleeding. Marburg virus is spread through contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood or other body fluids (including urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, or semen) of a person who is sick with or has died from MVD, with the body fluids of infected animals, or with needles or other fomites that are contaminated with the virus. Marburg virus is not spread through airborne transmission.
There is currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccine or treatment for MVD. In the absence of early diagnosis and appropriate supportive care, MVD has a high mortality rate of 23%–90%. With early intensive supportive care and fluid replacement, mortality rates may be lower.
For more detailed information, please see the full HAN Health Advisory.
Note: Recommendations for clinicians, infection prevention and control, and biosafety precautions that apply to Ebola Disease also apply to Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in U.S. healthcare settings.