Marburg virus: what it is, symptoms, transmission and treatment

Marburg disease, or Marburg hemorrhagic fever or just Marburg virus, is a very rare disease that causes a very high fever, muscle aches, and in some cases, bleeding in various parts of the body, such as the gums, eyes, or nose.

This disease is more common in places where there are bats of the species Rousettus and, therefore, it is more frequent in countries in Africa and South Asia. However, the infection can easily pass from one person to another through contact with secretions from the sick person, such as blood, saliva and other bodily fluids.

Because it is part of the filovirus family, has a high mortality rate and has the same forms of transmission, the Marburg virus is often compared with the Ebola virus.

Symptoms of Marburg disease

The main symptoms of Marburg virus infection are:

  • High fever, above 38ยบ C;
  • Severe headache;
  • Muscle aches;
  • General malaise;
  • Persistent diarrhea;
  • Dor abdominal;
  • frequent cramps;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Confusion, aggression and easy irritability;
  • Extreme fatigue.

Symptoms can appear between 2 and 21 days after contact with the virus, and usually evolve very quickly, so that it is possible to notice intense bleeding in various parts of the body.

As a consequence of the intense blood loss, Marburg virus infection is considered fatal, so that death can occur 8 to 9 days after the onset of the first symptoms.

How to confirm the diagnosis

Symptoms caused by Marburg fever are similar to other infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, malaria and other bleeding diseases. Therefore, the best way to confirm the diagnosis is through tests that identify the Marburg virus or antibodies or antigens circulating in the body.

How does the transmission

Originally, the Marburg virus passed to humans through exposure to places inhabited by bats of the species Rousettus. However, after contamination, the virus can pass from one person to another through contact with body fluids such as blood or saliva.

Thus, it is very important that the infected person remain isolated, avoiding going to public places, where he can contaminate others. In addition, you should wear a protective mask and wash your hands frequently to avoid passing the virus onto surfaces.

Transmission can continue until the virus has been completely eliminated from the blood, that is, care must be taken until the treatment ends and the doctor confirms that the test result no longer shows signs of infection.

Treatment for Marburg disease

There is no specific treatment for Marburg disease, it is only recommended that the person rest and rehydrate, which can be administered orally or intravenously. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend the use of medication to help relieve symptoms.


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