Marburg virus detected in second African country

Marburg virus outbreaks have been detected in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, but health officials say the risk to the U.S. remains low.


Equatorial Guinea is the latest country to report an outbreak of Marburg virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the country has confirmed 14 cases across four provinces. Ten of those cases were fatal, the CDC says.

An outbreak has also been detected in Tanzania. Government officials say eight cases have been laboratory-confirmed. Five of those individuals died.  

Health officials describe Marburg virus as a viral hemorrhagic fever. It is spread when a person is exposed to an infected person's blood or bodily fluids. It can also be transmitted the same way from animal to human.

CDC warns travelers of emerging virus in Africa
CDC warns travelers of emerging virus in Africa

CDC warns travelers of emerging virus in Africa

Leading health agencies say the recently emerging Marburg virus can have an over 50% fatality rate.


"Marburg virus is not spread through airborne transmission," the CDC states. 

Symptoms of the virus include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.

The CDC says the overall risk for Marburg virus in the U.S. is low. The agency notes that there are no direct commercial flights from Equatorial Guinea or Tanzania to the U.S. People who plan on going to the countries are urged to take precautions. That includes avoiding sick individuals, fruit bats and primates. 

Doctors in the U.S. are being asked to consider a patient's travel history when a patient presents with symptoms of the virus.