Marburg virus continues to spread

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said Equatorial Guinea’s capacity to manage the current outbreak of the Marburg Virus must be strengthened.

The warning comes as new cases have emerged. In addition to the nine confirmed cases reported in the WHO’s Disease Outbreak News of March 22, 2023, six more individuals tested positive for MVD, with one more affected EG province.

According to organisation Vax before Travel, the presence of cases and/or clusters across multiple districts without clear epidemiologic links may indicate undetected virus transmission.

It added that the presence of confirmed cases in the capital city of Bata increases the risk of disease spread, as it is the most populated city with an international airport and port.

Furthermore, surveillance at the entry points of the international Bata airport or international seaport is not optimal, it suggested.

Bata has also reported the highest number of confirmed cases and confirmed deaths.

Frequent population movements and porous land borders are also reported in EG districts bordering Cameroon and Gabon.

The surveillance at land entry points is suboptimal, and countless uncontrolled paths or trails along the border with Cameroon and Gabon.

Considering the above-described situation, WHO continues to assess the risk posed by this MVD outbreak as very high at the national level, high at the sub-regional level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level.

The USD Centers for Disease Control has issued travel alerts regarding MVD outbreaks in Africa to notify international travellers of their health risks.

No vaccine is presently available for the Marburg Virus.