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April 17, 2005

Marburg Virus Outbreak in Angloa.

The Marburg virus outbreak in Angloa seems to continue to spread:

In the sunbaked streets of the small Angolan city of Uige, even common courtesy is a killer. The highly contagious Marburg virus broke out here a fortnight ago and a polite handshake is enough to transmit the lethal fever that has already claimed more than 200 lives.
There is no known cure for Marburg once it has taken hold. Its excruciating symptoms culminate in bleeding from every orifice. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids and can kill rapidly, usually about nine days after the first symptoms.
Over the past two weeks an average of seven new cases have been reported each day. Six cases have been reported in the Angolan capital, Luanda, and the virus has spread to eight other provinces.

What slightly worries me is that if it does "break out" into the wider world then it will be here in Lisbon that we find out that it has. Luanda’s connection to the rich world is through the two airports, civilian and military, here.

One error in the Telegraph piece. If a disease is spread by bodily fluids, it is not "highly contagious".  Yes, it is mostly fatal, but no contact with blood or other such fluids, no infection. Rather like HIV in its transmission routes.

April 17, 2005 in Health Care | Permalink


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Tim, if someone is bleeding from every orifice then it's a lot easier to come into contact with droplets of their body fluids than it is if they're not. If you were right about Marburg not being contagious, would the health workers wear those anticontamination suits just to look cool?

Posted by: dsquared | Apr 17, 2005 10:08:10 PM

And the difference between "highly contagious" and "contagious" should not be noted? ’Flu is highly so, HIV is not. As above, Marburg is like HIV.

Posted by: Tim Worstall | Apr 17, 2005 10:50:54 PM