What Is the Marburg Virus and How Concerned Should You Be?

After getting completely smashed by the COVID pandemic, it only makes sense that we’ve all become more concerned when other viruses pop up. We all now know how fragile our modern systems are, how quickly things can change, and one way to seize control is by arming yourself with the right info. We’re still a bit on-edge, wondering if all of the Australian lockdowns won’t be relegated to memories of the past.

Thus, when the WHO declared that the West African country of Ghana has had its first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease, we all want to know what this illness is. We want to know what the symptoms are and how concerned we should be here in Australia. Which is fair enough, so here’s all the info that you need:

What is the Marburg Virus?

In another resource provided by the WHO, they stated that the Marburg virus is an extremely transmissible disease that causes haemorrhagic fever. As per, Better Health Channel, Haemorrhagic fever can cause you to dangerously bleed. The fatality ratio of the Marburg virus disease is 88 percent, and it’s transmitted human-to-human through an infected person’s bodily fluids touching the broken skin of a healthy person’s. This illness is also in the same family as the Ebola virus.

What are the Marburg Virus’ symptoms?

The Marburg virus starts off with a fever, a severe headache, and a general feeling of discomfort. Muscle aches and pains are also common features. By the third day, you’ll have nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, and vomiting. Between two and seven days, you could get a non-itchy rash.

Within seven days, a lot of patients have haemorrhagic manifestations that result in blood being found in both their vomit and faeces. Bleeding can also happen from one’s nose, gums, and vagina. Occasionally on the 15th-day mark, some people get inflamed testicles. 

What is the Treatment After Getting the Marburg Virus?

According to the WHO, “There is as yet no proven treatment available for Marburg virus disease. However, a range of potential treatments, including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated.” At the moment, medical professionals can only provide infected individuals supportive care, such as giving some of them intravenous fluids. 

In Australia, How Concerned Should We Be?

There are currently no concerns or announcements that this disease could reach Australia’s shores. Moreover, Health Direct has reported that the only viral haemorrhagic disease ever recorded here is the dengue virus. So there’s no need to be stressed about your own personal safety.

However, we should all be concerned for the folks of Ghana. This is a soulbreaking illness that has already killed a 51-year-old man and a 26-year-old man. Moreover, Ghana is a developing nation where diseases such as this one can spread like a wildfire. This is because not everyone in this country has access to basic human rights like clean and reliable water. To make matters worse, countries like Australia aren’t pitching in and doing enough to make these basic human rights a reality.

If you’re worried that the Marburg virus can spread to Australia, then you should be worried about it spreading throughout the West African region. 

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.