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


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news