Angola's neighbours put on Marburg alert

时间:2019-03-02 10:14:00166网络整理admin

By Gaia Vince The four countries neighbouring Angola have been put on alert for Marburg haemorrhagic fever by the World Health Organization – the death toll from the virus has now reached 174. The Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zambia were told to be on alert by WHO officials on Friday, who say the world’s worst outbreak of Marburg has yet to peak. “Everybody should be on alert in Angola and its neighbouring countries,” said top WHO communicable diseases official, Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, to a French news agency. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” he added. The virus has now spread to seven of the country’s 18 provinces. Geneva-based Asamoa-Baah, visiting Marburg-hit provinces in Angola to assess the situation, also recommended the setting up of two laboratories there – one in the capital, Luanda, and a second 300 kilometres north of there, in Uige, which was the initial source of the outbreak. He said that more people and equipment are needed to combat the epidemic, adding that the biggest problem is in educating the Angolan population – about 14 million people – regarding the disease and how it is transmitted, which includes through contact with the dead. Marburg fever is spread through body fluids, such as blood, saliva, vomit and excrement. It has been suggested that the use of dirty needles may have caused the rapid spread of the disease among hospital patients and might explain why three-quarters of the victims have been under five years old – they may have caught the virus during routine inoculations or medical treatments. The virus, which is related to Ebola, has killed an unusually high number of the 200 or so people it has infected during this outbreak. There is no cure and there is no vaccine. Following a five to 10-day incubation period, early symptoms of infection include fever, diarrhoea, stomach pains,