World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Outbreak Of Marburg Disease Sets Death Toll Record


New York, Mar 31 2005 3:00PM

The death toll from Marburg virus in Angola has already surpassed the largest number of fatalities ever recorded during an outbreak of this rare but highly lethal haemorrhagic disease with epidemic potential, the United Nations health agency announced today.

As of 30 March, 132 cases have been reported, 127 of them fatal, including health care workers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said. The previous highest death toll occurred from 1998 to 2000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), when 123 people died out of 149 cases, the largest outbreak on record of the disease, which is of the same family as the deadly Ebola.

WHO has despatched 500 kilos of personal protective equipment and other supplies to assist in the immediate improvement of infection control in hospitals and the protection of front-line staff in the region around Uige Province, the epicentre of the outbreak. Close contact with bodily fluids of infected people, as in medical care or burial, appears to increase the risk of infection, and 12 of the current cases involve heath workers.

To facilitate real-time coordination of response operations, WHO has despatched mobile communication field kits, which should greatly expedite the flow of information on the disease, which begins with severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and chest and lung pains, with a high proportion developing severe haemorrhage in the gastrointestinal tract and lungs.

Additional staff from WHO and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), a technical collaboration of existing institutions and networks, are ser to arrive over the weekend. Two logisticians will join teams in Uige and Luanda, the Angolan capital. A data manager, media coordinator and medical anthropologist will also be arriving over the weekend.

A mobile field laboratory provided by the Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory arrived yesterday, was set up in Uige today and will become operational tomorrow. An isolation facility, operated by the non-governmental organization (NGO) Médecins sans Frontières, is to receive further cases that may be identified by mobile surveillance teams.

Marburg occurs very rarely and appears to be geographically confined to a few countries in southern Africa. It was first identified in 1967 during simultaneous outbreaks affecting laboratory workers in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany, and in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The outbreaks, which involved 31 cases and seven deaths, were subsequently linked to contact with infected monkeys imported from Uganda.

2005-03-31 00:00:00.000

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC