THE Ministry of Health and Childcare (MoHCC) has warned the public to be wary of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) that has already affected Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.
The virus is clinically similar to the Ebola virus as it is caused by the same family of viruses — causing symptoms of severe haemorrhagic fever in humans.
Marburg is transmitted to humans through fruit bats which are the natural hosts. Spread among humans is through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected persons and with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids.
Equatorial Guinea declared the MVD an outbreak in mid-February after recording nine fatal cases.
Tanzania declared a MVD outbreak on March 22, 2023, with a case fatality ratio of 62,5%
In a statement yesterday, Health secretary Jasper Chimedza said measures have been put in place at the borders to contain the spread of the virus.
"In view of this regional outbreak, the MoHCC has taken steps to strengthen surveillance, particularly at the points of entry and activated preparedness and response teams.
"If anyone presents with haemorrhagic symptoms and high fever having travel history to or through countries reporting MVD, they should immediately report to the nearest health facility or call the ministry's public, number 2019 for health emergency operations centre toll free assistance," he said.
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Marburg virus is associated with high case fatality of 24-90%.
With many Zimbabweans currently trekking to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to collect vehicle shipments from Japan, there is widespread fear that the vehicle importers may bring the virus into the country.