PRO/AH/EDR> Marburg virus disease – Equatorial Guinea (11): outbreak ended, WHO


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 8 Jun 2023
Source: WHO Africa [edited]

The outbreak of Marburg Virus Disease in Equatorial Guinea ended today
[8 Jun 2023] with no new cases reported over the past 42 days after
the last patient was discharged from treatment.

The outbreak, which was declared on 13 Feb 2023, was the 1st of its
kind in Equatorial Guinea. A total of 17 laboratory-confirmed cases
and 12 deaths were recorded. All the 23 probable cases reported died.
There were 4 patients who recovered from the virus and have been
enrolled in a survivors programme to receive psychosocial and other
post-recovery support.

Five districts in 4 of Equatorial Guinea’s 8 provinces were affected.
Bata district in the western Litoral province was worst-hit, with 11
laboratory-confirmed cases reported. Among the reported cases, many
were closely linked either through social gatherings and networks, or

“While outbreak-prone diseases continue to pose a major health threat
in Africa, we can bank on the region’s growing expertise in health
emergency response to act quickly and decisively to safeguard health
and avert widespread loss of life,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World
Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

“The hard work by Equatorial Guinea’s health workers and support by
partner organizations has been crucial in ending this outbreak. WHO
continues to work with countries to improve measures to detect and
respond effectively to disease outbreaks,” Dr Moeti said.

To support Equatorial Guinea’s response to the just-ended outbreak,
WHO deployed experts in epidemiology, clinical management, health
operations, logistics, risk communications and infection prevention
and control. The Organization worked with the health authorities to
set up a treatment centre, provided medical supplies including
antivirals and trained health workers in the key aspects of outbreak
control. WHO also supported the efforts by the authorities in
neighbouring Cameroon and Gabon to ramp up outbreak readiness and

Although the outbreak has ended, WHO continues to work with Equatorial
Guinea to maintain measures such as surveillance and testing to enable
prompt action should flare-ups of the virus occur, with the training
provided during the outbreak helping to strengthen readiness

Marburg is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola Virus
Disease. The Marburg virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats
and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids
of infected people, surfaces and materials.

In Africa, the 1st outbreak of Marburg was recorded in South Africa in
1975, followed by 2 others in Kenya in the 1980s. Since then outbreaks
have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Ghana, Guinea and Uganda, and most recently Equatorial Guinea and

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