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Sixth Health Care Worker in Angola Dies from Marburg Virus

Recombinomics Commentary
March 25, 2005

>> The Marburg virus, an Ebola-like virus that has killed 98 people in northern Angola, has now spread to the capital Luanda, killing two people there, officials said on Thursday.

A 15-year-old boy and an Italian paediatrician, Maria Bonino, who had both been in the northern Uige province to which the virus had previously been confined, died on Thursday from the virus in Luanda, local health officials said.

At least three other people have been diagnosed with the virus in the capital, they said.  <<

The above report raises the number of health care workers who have died from the Marburg virus to six.  Two nurses died on Tuesday, and 3 others died a few days earlier.

Although the initial cases were last fall, a more serious investigation was not initiated until the health care workers fell ill.  Initially the cases were mostly children.  The infections in heath care workers may simply be related to an explosion in the number of cases, which have now spread to Luanda.  In addition to the five cases described above, another death in Luanda is being investigated as a possible Marburg death.

The relatively long incubation period raises concerns of spread to other areas by infected people who have not shown symptoms.  The virus is readily transmitted by body fluids.

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