In Equatorial Guinea, eight people have died from the virus, and six more cases are under investigation. It is not clear how the two outbreaks may be connected. Marburg virus is a rare and highly contagious disease caused by contact with infected bats, monkeys, or humans. Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding from multiple organs, including the lungs and eyes. Treatment for Marburg virus infection is limited to supportive care, such as providing fluids to prevent dehydration and controlling pain or discomfort associated with some symptoms. There is no vaccine available yet against this strain of the virus, but WHO said it was working on developing one.
The World Health Organization has deployed a team of experts to Equatorial Guinea, who will assist local authorities in implementing the necessary measures to contain the outbreak. They are also providing support for contact tracing and laboratory testing. In addition, they are educating healthcare workers on how to recognize and treat Ebola cases. Braka noted that the WHO’s response is crucial in helping both countries manage this epidemic. Equatorial Guinea has closed its borders with Cameroon and Gabon and suspended flights from affected countries such as Nigeria and Congo-Brazzaville to prevent the further spread of infection. The government has also implemented quarantine procedures for travelers from these areas entering the country. In addition, people have been advised against visiting crowded places or attending large gatherings such as festivals or funerals until further notice.
The government in the East African nation is trying to keep its borders open while enforcing preventative measures. It has closed public gatherings and suspended schools until May. The country’s health minister said it was essential that citizens comply with preventive measures such as social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face masks when in public places. He warned against complacency at this outbreak stage, noting that similar outbreaks led to more cases later. With over 1 million Tanzanians living abroad and thousands of travelers passing through daily, Nagu urged them to follow safety guidelines or risk being turned back from the border if they do not adhere to temperature checks or quarantine requirements.
Symptoms of Marburg include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, chills, backache, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, patients may develop a rash or hiccuping fits. As the disease progresses, it can cause bleeding from the eyes, nose, and internal organs, such as the gastrointestinal tract. Death usually occurs within two to three weeks due to multiple organ failure. Treatment is supportive care with intravenous fluids and medications for reducing fever, controlling pain, and treating other symptoms as they arise. There is no known cure for the Marburg virus infection at this time.
In addition, a growing body of research links climate change to the spread of infectious diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Areas previously too cold for mosquitoes carrying these diseases are now at risk as temperatures rise. According to WHO data, vector-borne illnesses such as malaria cause an estimated 219 million cases and 435,000 deaths globally each year. Climate change has also been linked to disruptions in access to clean water which can contribute to other life-threatening causes of illness, such as diarrhea or cholera. The United Nations estimates that more than 2 billion people lack safe drinking water at home due largely to climate change effects like drought and flooding.