Ebola and Marburg may have diverged as one spread among free-living fruit bats, the other among cave dwellers - Eric Leroy
image by: Maui Rantressa
If you have to fall sick with a viral hemorrhagic fever from the Marburg-Ebola family, which one should you choose?
Go with Marburg. Though we don't know very much about how these viruses work, history suggests that between a quarter and half of all people who get Marburg die from it; there is a 90 percent mortality rate among those who contract Ebola.
Symptoms of the two diseases are very similar. Both begin with the sort of muscle pain, fever, headaches, and nausea that you might see in response to any viral infection. About five days later, a rash appears on the chest and back, and the victim's face may appear vacant and expressionless, as the virus begins to affect…
No one knows why Marburg outbreaks have been less deadly than Ebola outbreaks. It could be something about the virus itself—i.e., the Marburg virus may not be as effective at countering the body's immune response—or it could be something about the available medical care at the site of the outbreak.
The reservoir host of Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus. Fruit bats infected with Marburg virus do not to show obvious signs of illness. Primates (including humans) can become infected with Marburg virus, and may develop serious disease with high mortality.
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Marburg virus disease (MVD) (formerly known as Marburg haemorrhagic fever) was first identified in 1967 during epidemics in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany and Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia from importation of infected monkeys from Uganda. MVD is a severe and highly fatal disease caused by a virus from the same family as the one that causes Ebola virus disease.
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