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Equatorial Guinea confirms Marburg virus outbreak, record nine fatalities

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In eastern Equatorial Guinea, a tiny nation in central Africa that has quarantined a province to contain the “epidemic,” nine people have passed away from Marburg virus disease, a hemorrhagic fever that is almost as deadly as Ebola.

The government disclosed last week that it was looking into potential cases of hemorrhagic fever. At a press conference, Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba stated that only three people with “mild symptoms” of the illness are currently quarantined in a hospital in this sparsely populated rural area bordering Gabon and Cameroon.

The three patients, he continued, “have mild symptoms (…) that are improving.”

According to the minister, Equatorial Guinea “declares today the health alert for a Marburg hemorrhagic fever in the province of Kie-Ntem and in the (neighboring) district of Mongomo.”

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In close cooperation with the UN World Health Organization (WHO), a “containment plan has been put in place” to “deal with the epidemic” in this region of dense equatorial forest in the eastern part of the nation’s mainland, which also includes two major islands.

The Marburg virus is spread in humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people as well as with surfaces and materials. It is transmitted to humans by fruit bats.

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