Sunday, April 10, 2005

Marburg Fever

In 1967, workers in a laboratory in Germany began contracting a previously unknown hemorrhagic fever. Twenty-five percent of the workers who contracted what came to be called Marburg fever died. The disease was traced to a group of monkeys that had been brought to the lab from Uganda.

Marburg fever is currently spreading through a portion of Angola. The New York Times reports that 193 people have died so far. According to the World Health Organization, the mortality rate associated with this outbreak has been 90 percent. As with the closely related Ebola virus, stopping the spread of Marburg fever requires preventing healthy people from coming into contact with the bodily fluids of those who have been infected.