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WHO urges Equatorial Guinea to report additional Marburg cases

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The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday the body was aware of additional Marburg cases in Equatorial Guinea and urged the government to report them officially.

Marburg virus disease is a viral haemorrhagic fever that can have a fatality rate of up to 88%, according to the WHO.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue and blood-stained vomit and diarrhoea. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat it.

“The number of officially reported cases remains at nine, with seven deaths in three provinces. However, these three provinces are 150 km apart, suggesting wider transmission of the virus,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said of the cases in Equatorial Guinea.

“WHO is aware of additional cases and we have asked the government to report these cases officially to WHO.”

There is also an outbreak of Marburg virus in Tanzania, where eight cases have been reported in one region, including five deaths, Tedros said.

WHO said it was working with the authorities and vaccine manufacturers to set up trials in the affected countries.

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