Health - Marburg Beneath the radar
No. I don't mean the Marburg radar station near Brisbane or Marburg, Germany, although what I am referring to was first discovered in that German town (hence then name), thought to be contracted by research on african monkeys.
I mean the Marburg virus variant that is not making a lot of headlines.
A quick primer on the Marburg virus can be found on the CDC Website which also has another page on the Current outbreak in Angola.
Basically, 194 out of 214 cases have been fatal. Weapons of mass distraction has further links to a doctor claiming that WHO (World Health Organisation) is downplaying just how nasty this virus really is. The normal fatality rate is around 25%, but this outbreak is up around 90%.
However, looking into the last time Marburg reared its head, in Orientale, Congo, the fatality rate was 123 out of 149, roughly 82%. It looks like this latest outbreak could be a similar strain to that one.
Weapons of mass distraction puts on its Tin Foil hat for a minute and points out a number of disconcerting data points surrounding the issue
- Marburg normally has a fatality rate of 25%-30%, while this outbreak so far is killing 85%-90% of its victims;
- The virus previously killed children under five, but it is now proving to be deadly to adults;
- After 40 years, scientists still haven’t identified the natural “reservoir” of the disease;
- The Russians were known to have worked on a weaponized version of Marburg;
- The New York Times reported an accident with the Ebola virus at the US Army’s biological weapons lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland early last year; and,
- African doctors have accused the WHO of spiking vaccines in Africa with other substances for quite some time;
As already mentioned, this is not the first high fatality rate version of the virus, but the rest of the points are still worth keeping in mind.
In further developments, the WHO has removed Aid Workers because the locals were throwing rocks at them. The locals thought the aid workers were responsible for the outbreak.
The only really odd thing that stands out it how so many babies got infected? I can understand medical staff being more prone to getting infected, but how did the babies get infected if this is supposedly only contracted by close contact, and is most contagious in the acute stage of the virus, when it is obvious you are sick.
Hopefully, this will not spread, however this is the first time a densely populated urban area has been involved in any Marburg outbreak.