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Health Ministry confirms Marburg outbreak in Tanzania


The Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) outbreak in Tanzania has been confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH). The symptoms are somewhat similar to Ebola.


Some of the symptoms of Marburg disease include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding through various openings in the body.

Since the disease’s outbreak, eight people have so far been affected, resulting in five deaths in Bukoba and Karega province which is the northern part of Tanzania. It has also affected the southwestern shores of lake Victoria. Marburg has a case fatality ratio of 63% in these areas.

“The Ministry of health wishes to bring to the attention of the general public of a confirmed Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) outbreak in our neighbour to the south, the united republic of Tanzania. The disease has since affected eight people and resulted in five deaths (case fatality rate 63%) in bukoba, Kagera province in the North Western part of Tanzania and southern shores of Lake Victoria” read the statemnt from MOH.

The Marburg Virus results in a fatal form of hemorrhagic fever caused by the virus itself. It is spread through contact with various body fluids like saliva, blood, and mucus of the infected person (s).

The Ministry of Health has urged health officials to be prepared if the outbreak were to spread across the border to Kenya. According to the Ministry, the spread of this disease could cause a huge socioeconomic downfall, as was the case with the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

“VHFs such as Marburg virus disease can have a serious socioeconomic impact as demonstrated in previous outbreaks for example the Ebola Virus disease outbreak of 2014/2016 in West Africa. The three most affected countries (Guinea Liberia and Sierra Leone) are estimated to have lost $4.3 Billion” read the Ministry of Health statement.

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With early detection, proper medical attention, and care, Marburg patients have higher chances of survival.

Marburg is closely related to the Ebola, both sharing similar symptoms.

Marburg Virus disease
Marburg Virus Disease File/COURTESY

The ministry of health emphasizes that people should prevent themselves from getting and spreading the disease by practicing various prevention measures.

These are:

  • Proper disposal of used needles,
  • Wearing protective garments like masks and gloves,
  • Isolation of the individuals who are infected by the disease.

The three most impacted West African countries; Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were estimated to have lost $4.3 billion during the Ebola outbreak.

Marburg Virus Disease

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