Marburg virus disease outbreak in Tanzania: current efforts and recommendations - a short communication

Bulimbe D. B., Masunga D. S., Paul I. K., Kassim G. H., Bahati P. B., Thomas J. A., ...More

ANNALS OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, no.8, pp.4190-4193, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier


On 21 March 2023 the Tanzania's Ministry of Health reported the first Marburg virus disease (MVD) outbreak in Bukoba District reporting a total of eight cases and five fatalities including one health care worker with a case fatality ratio of 62.5%. MVD is a filoviral infection with an estimated incubation of 3-21 days and causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans. Fruit bats are significant reservoir host leading to animal-to-human transmission and human-to-human transmission by direct contact of body fluids from an infected person. Symptoms and signs include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, body malaise, massive hemorrhage, and multiorgan failure. Currently, no definitive treatment or licensed vaccines are available to date but only supportive care. This outbreak is an alarming concern to the neighboring countries to contain the outbreak. Within 3 years from 2020 to 2023 Tanzania has already recorded one pandemic, which is the novel coronavirus disease 2019 and two epidemics, which are Cholera, Dengue, and now MVD. Tanzanian's Ministry of Health is drawing lessons from the previous health emergencies to contain this particular epidemic. To impede the MVD outbreak in Tanzania, the focus of this commentary is on highlighting the efforts performed and the significant recommendations provided to relevant organizations and the general public.