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Marburg Toll in Angola Rises to 336

Recombinomics Commentary
May 16, 2005

>> "The outbreak is not over. We've seen new cases in new municipalities that don't have obvious links to earlier cases of Marburg. We are very concerned about the situation," ………..

There is no specific cure and some 292 people have so far died from the 336 people who are known to have been infected.

Deputy Health Minister Jose Van Dunem said that no new cases had been reported in over 21 days in provinces other than Uige, indicating that the epidemic was "over" in most of Angola. <<

The number of Marburg cases and deaths continues to rise in spite of discarding of reported cases inside and outside of Uige.  Most of the reported cases outside of Uige were administratively removed, lowering that number to 11.  However, there have only been three Marburg cases confirmed outside of Uige.  These three cases were in Luanda.  No other region has generated a confirmed Marburg case, so the potential of false negatives due to collection and transportation problems of samples are very real.

Marburg is spreading to new regions within Uige province, so there is little reason to expect the spread to stop at the province borders.  The differential between the number of reported cases and number of deaths has grown to 44, which is an all time high for the epidemic.  Since there are only one or two recovered patients, this increased differential reflects newer cases are being added faster than old cases can die.

Using the Marburg lab test to exclude patients creates the potential for spread via unmonitored contacts.  Follow-up on patients with clear Marburg symptoms in the absence of a positive Marburg test may help link to new cases and identify additional cases.

False negatives keep the totals down, but does little to control the spread of the Marburg virus.

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