96 dead of Ebola-like Marburg virus in Angola

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

96 dead of Ebola-like Marburg virus in Angola
96 dead of Ebola-like Marburg virus in Angola

More than 100 people are dead in Uige province in northern Angola, due to a virus related to the Ebola virus, known as the Marburg virus, which causes death by bleeding and is both "very virulent" and "very contagious". A longer incubation period without symptoms than that of the Ebola virus has authorities keeping a watchful eye for the disease migrating.

"This is a possibility. The incubation period is 21 days so we must reinforce the surveillance in neighbouring provinces and especially in Luanda," Vice Minister for Health Jose Van Dunem told Reuters.

The virus is transmitted by bodily fluids, including saliva. Most of the victims have been children under five. There is no cure, but the 70 percent survival rate is somewhat better than the worst form of Ebola, which has a survival rate of only 10 percent.

Symptoms of Marburg include high fever, headaches, nausea with vomiting, and diarrhea accompanied by blood.