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Student Editorials

Outbreak in Angola

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 01 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:0507268
  1. Chibuzo Odigwe, fifth year medical student1,
  2. Daniel G Bausch, associate professor2
  1. 1University of Calabar, Nigeria
  2. 2department of tropical medicine, Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699, USA

Chibuzo Odigwe and Daniel G Bausch give an overview of Marburg haemorrhagic fever and its latest outbreak in Angola

Last October, a haemorrhagic fever hit the inhabitants of northeastern Angola, and it has been spreading throughout the region ever since.1 Alarmed at the death toll and the devastating effects of the disease, the local authorities sent samples for analysis to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2 The results of the sample analysis returned positive for Marburg virus infection. At the last count, 423 cases with 357 deaths, a rate of 84%, has been recorded.3

Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF) results from infection with Marburg virus. MHF typically begins with fever, headache, sore throat, and muscle pain, followed by abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Early in the illness there may be a transient rash. Bleeding may occur as the disease progresses. High viral loads of Marburg virus may be found in the blood and a host of other organs, especially tissues of the reticuloendothelial system.

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Outbreaks of Marburg haemorrhagic …

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