Amid experiences of two confirmed Marburg virus outbreaks within the African international locations of Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) launched an alert final week for U.S. docs to maintain a watch out for any potential circumstances.
“Presently, the danger of MVD [Marburg virus disease] in the USA is low; nonetheless, clinicians ought to concentrate on the potential for imported circumstances,” the CDC said within the alert.
“It is very important systematically assess sufferers for the potential of viral hemorrhagic fevers.”
The CDC defines the Marburg virus — which has been in comparison with the Ebola virus — as a “uncommon however extreme hemorrhagic fever, which impacts each individuals and non-human primates.”
Fox Information medical contributor and NYU Langone inside drugs specialist Dr. Marc Siegel appeared on the Fox Information Channel to share his perspective on the virus.
Virus is just like Ebola
The Marburg virus isn’t new — it was first found in 1967, when outbreaks occurred in labs in Marburg and Frankfurt (each in Germany) and in Serbia (previously Belgrade, Yugoslavia).
Nevertheless, Dr. Siegel mentioned extra sustained outbreaks are taking place the place it was sporadic.
“It is a virus that comes from bats — it’s similar to Ebola,” he mentioned on “Fox & Pals” on Monday, April 10.
The Marburg virus is unfold by the Egyptian fruit bat, which is present in each Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, per the CDC.
“We noticed a fairly large outbreak in Tanzania, which it seems to be to me like they’ve gotten management over, as only a few individuals are being quarantined now,” mentioned Dr. Siegel. “However in Equatorial Guinea, there’s an issue.”
Signs of Marburg embrace nausea, vomiting, sore throat, chest ache, belly ache and diarrhea, the CDC said.
Extra extreme circumstances can result in irritation of the pancreas, jaundice, delirium, extreme weight reduction, shock, hemorrhaging and organ failure.
Attributable to its similarity to the Ebola virus, the CDC recommends that docs observe the identical protocols for infection prevention and control when coping with circumstances of the Marburg virus.
‘They’re hiding circumstances’
Dr. Siegel expressed concern that the governments of the international locations the place the Marburg outbreaks have occurred aren’t sharing the total particulars.
“It’s the standard downside — they’re not telling us something.”
“It’s the standard downside — they’re not telling us something,” he mentioned. “They’re hiding circumstances. There have in all probability been no less than 29 deaths.”
Dr. Siegel additionally condemned the World Health Organization (WHO) for not reacting appropriately.
“The World Well being Group, as regular, is limp — not doing what they’re imagined to be doing right here, which might be to get a vaccine in there,” he mentioned.
Dr. Siegel famous that there’s a vaccine for the Marburg virus — and that the really useful plan of action could be to conduct a “ring vaccination” across the people who find themselves most affected.
With the ring vaccination method, a vaccine is given to an individual who’s uncovered to a virus, together with anybody else who has been in shut contact with that individual, per WebMD.
This technique was used to assist finish the smallpox outbreaks within the mid-1900s.
Marburg virus isn’t airborne
One piece of excellent information that Dr. Siegel shared: In contrast to the COVID-19 virus, the Marburg virus doesn’t unfold by way of the air.
“It’s fairly steady, so it doesn’t mutate the best way we noticed with COVID,” he mentioned on “Fox & Pals.”
“It spreads by way of shut contact by way of secretions.”
Secretions embrace bodily fluids corresponding to blood, saliva, plasma, semen and urine.
“However it’s a horrible virus and it causes a reasonably excessive demise charge,” Dr. Siegel famous. “We positively must regulate it, as a result of we don’t need to see any circumstances right here [in the U.S.] — however we don’t have management of the scenario.”
“And once more, I’m upset in each the WHO and the native governments, as a result of it could possibly clearly unfold round Western Africa,” he added.
Marburg not more likely to change into the following pandemic
Dr. Siegel was clear: He doesn’t assume the Marburg virus will change into the following pandemic, as “it’s too steady to mutate in that course.”
“In nature, this isn’t going to trigger a pandemic.”
He did categorical concern, nonetheless, about viruses being “performed with” within the lab.
“I can’t inform you 100% that one thing received’t occur in a lab,” he mentioned. “That’s the place my concern is. However in nature, this isn’t going to trigger a pandemic — it’s solely going to trigger sporadic outbreaks. And it may be managed, because it simply was in Tanzania.”
Vice President Kamala Harris was simply in Tanzania a few weeks in the past, mentioned Dr. Siegel — however there is a “actually low probability” that she would have been uncovered.
“We must always not over-hype this, however we must be conscious,” the physician mentioned. “And our public well being organizations, particularly the WHO, are usually not successfully coming to bear on it.”
Officers in Equatorial Guinea first declared a Marburg outbreak on Feb. 13.
The primary Tanzanian outbreak was declared on March 21.
There are presently no confirmed circumstances of the Marburg virus within the U.S.