Marburg Virus Reaches Coastal City of 225,000 People
According to media statements made by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Mitoha Ondo Ayecaba, Marburg virus disease (MVD) cases have reached the city of Bata as of March 23, 2023.
Bata is a coastal city in the Litoral province of Equatorial Guinea with an urban population exceeding 225,000 residents.
Two of the eight new confirmed Marburg cases were reported from the province of Kié-Ntem, four from the Litoral, and two from Centre- Sur provinces.
The areas reporting cases are about 150 kilometers apart, suggesting wider transmission of the deadly virus.
In total, 27 MVD fatalities have been reported in Equatorial Guinea in 2023.
The other MVD outbreak in central Africa is in Tanzania, which announced eight cases, including five related fatalities last week.
And more than 160 contacts have been identified and are being monitored.
The World Health Organization recently assessed the risk posed by the Marburg outbreaks as very high at the national level, moderate at the regional level, and low at the global level.
And the Europan CDC stated the most likely route of introducing MVD into the EU/EEA would be via infected travelers. While importation of the virus cannot be excluded, it is currently doubtful to occur.
Should an MVD case be imported, the likelihood of the spread within Europe is considered to be very low.
As of March 26, 2023, neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor the European Medicines Agency had approved a Marburg vaccine.