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The CDC warns some travelers to watch for symptoms of Marburg virus as it investigates outbreaks in Africa -Health



CNN

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending staff to Africa to help stop outbreaks of Marburg virus disease and is urging travelers to certain countries to take precautions. The CDC is also taking steps to prevent the spread of the infection in the United States.

Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania are experiencing their first known outbreaks of Marburg virus, a viral fever with uncontrolled bleeding that is a close cousin of Ebola. This week, the CDC Call travelers Avoid contact with sick people in both countries and monitor for symptoms for three weeks after leaving the area. Travelers to Equatorial Guinea must take Enhanced alert And avoid unnecessary travel to provinces where outbreaks are ongoing, the agency said.

In the United States, the agency will post notices at international airports where most travelers arrive, warning them to watch for symptoms of the virus for 21 days and to seek immediate care if they become ill. They will also receive a text reminder to watch for symptoms.

CDC is developing a “center-led” emergency response; It’s not as comprehensive as the CDC stands for Emergency Operations Center, such as for Covid-19 and mpox. But it will refocus the efforts and attention of staff at its National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases on responding to the outbreak, which is in two countries on opposite sides of Africa, indicating that severe hemorrhagic fever is spreading.

Equatorial Guinea, off the coast of West Africa, declared an outbreak of Marburg virus disease in mid-February, spreading to multiple provinces. As of March 22, Equatorial Guinea had 13 confirmed cases, including nine deaths and one recovery. According to the World Health Organization. Nine CDC staff are on the ground there. They have established a field laboratory and are assisting with testing, case detection and contact tracing.

Tanzania, on the east African coast, declared an outbreak of Marburg virus disease on March 21, with cases reported in two villages in the Kagera region. According to the CDC. As of March 22, Tanzania has had eight confirmed cases, including five deaths. CDC has a permanent office in Tanzania that is assisting with the outbreak. It is sending additional personnel to support that effort.

Marburg virus is a rare and deadly virus that causes fever, chills, muscle aches, rash, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. It is spread by contact with body fluids and contaminated surfaces. Humans can also catch it from infected animals. It is fatal in about half of those who get it. Other countries in Africa have had to contain outbreaks before.

In the early stages, the infection is difficult to distinguish from other illnesses, so a history of travel to any of these countries will be essential to help doctors identify it.

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