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Marburg Virus Kills Two More First Responders in Angola

Recombinomics Commentary
March 29, 2005

>>  On Monday, two policemen and another man died in Uige province while a baby aged one year died in a Luanda hospital.

The most serious recorded outbreak of the disease was in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo between 1998 and 2000, when 123 people died. <<

The four deaths on Monday bring the total number of Marburg fatalities in Angola to 126, which is the most recorded for the hemorrhagic fever Marburg virus.  The previous high was 123 fatalities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1998 and 2000.  The case fatality rate was 82%.  The rate for the outbreak in Angola is over 90% and the true rate at this time is near 100%.  The diagnosed cases are still in the hospital.  There have been no recent reports of patients who have recovered in Angola from the hemorrhagic fever.

The high death rate is also taking its toll on first responders.  The deaths of the two policemen on Monday suggest that they too are being exposed via contact with patients.  In addition to the two policemen, two physicians and six nurses have died, increasing concerns inside and outside of Angola.

One fatality has been identified in Cabinda, and 14 contacts have been placed under hospital quarantine.  In Luanda, Monday's death is the 4th in the city, although all appear to be from Uige.  However, there is a 12-year old who is hospitalized who appears to have been infected in Luanda.  There is also a recent passenger from Angola to Portugal who has died.  There has been no update on the cause of death, which is under investigation.

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