new COVID-19 variant JN.1

What Is Marburg Disease, Should India Be Worried?

new COVID-19 variant JN.1

Regarding the Marburg disease, which has been considered fatal by the World Health Organization (WHO), health experts in India said that a new outbreak of the virus has a high mortality rate and is capable of causing severe infections in humans but the virus has already been contained, so there is no need for Indians to worry.
The Marburg virus is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and is spread in humans through direct contact with the body fluids of infected persons, or with surfaces and materials.

Dr Sushila Kataria, Director, of Internal Medicine, Medanta, Gurugram said, “Marburg virus is a rare and highly infectious virus that can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans. Given the high mortality rate associated with this virus, early diagnosis and treatment are essential. If one suspects that they have been exposed to the Marburg virus, they should seek medical attention immediately.”

According to the WHO, the Marburg virus disease is a highly virulent disease with a fatality ratio of up to 88 per cent. It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease. Illness caused by the Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache, and severe malaise. Many patients developed severe hemorrhagic symptoms within seven days.

On Protective measures, she said, “Protective measures should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, including isolation and strict infection control procedures.”

Talking about the symptoms, Dr Kataria said within 2-21 days people who are exposed to the virus may experience fever, headache, muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

“The symptoms of the same typically appear within 2-21 days of exposure and include fever, headache, muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. As the disease progresses, patients may develop a rash, chest pain, cough, and abdominal pain. In some cases, patients may also experience internal bleeding. The diagnosis of the Marburg virus is based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory tests. Blood tests can detect the presence of the virus and confirm the diagnosis,” she said.

“However, in the early stages of the disease, the virus may not be detectable in the blood. In such cases, doctors may perform other tests, such as a liver function test, a complete blood count, or a coagulation profile, to evaluate the patient’s condition,” she further explained about symptoms and diagnosis.

Dr Kataria has also said that the virus has been contained and there is no need to worry for Indians.

“The virus has already been contained, so there is no need for Indians to worry. Additionally, if strict precautions to control infections are taken and followed, then the spread can be controlled. The disease’s spread is limited because 30-80 per cent of those infected die. The virus can spread through bats, their urine, and/or their excretions. It can also spread through direct contact with infected people’s blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids, as well as through contaminated surfaces and materials. Fortunately, it doesn’t spread through the air, restricting its spread,” she added.

Till now, there are no vaccines or treatments found to treat the virus, however, there is supportive care that can improve the survival chances.

A range of potential treatments, including blood products, immune therapies, and drug therapies, as well as candidate vaccines with phase 1 data are being evaluated. (ANI)

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