Fact Check: Marburg Virus Disease Is NOT Spreading Across The World

Fact Check

  • by: Meriem El Boudadi
Fact Check: Marburg Virus Disease Is NOT Spreading Across The World

Is the Marburg virus disease spreading across the world? No, that's not true: the virus, defined by the US Centers for disease and control prevention (CDC) as a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever that affects both people and non-human primates, is still contained in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, with only a few cases in each country.

The claim that the virus spread across the world appeared on a video published on TikTok on April 1st (and archived here) with a caption that translates in English to:

A scary virus appears around the world.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

caption Marburg .png
(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Apr 6 02:28:43 2023 UTC)

According to the World Health Organization, Marburg Virus Disease is under control and contained in Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania, with 15 laboratory-confirmed and 23 probable cases since the declaration of the outbreak on 13 February 2023 in Equatorial Guinea and 8 cases in Tanzania since that country declared its first case on 21 March 2023 . Local authorities are investigating the contamination process.

The WHO describes Marburg virus disease as:

An epidemic-prone disease associated with high case-fatality rates (CFR 24-90%). It is caused by the same family of viruses (Filoviridae) as Ebola virus disease and is clinically similar. The current CFR for this outbreak is relatively high, at 62.5%. Marburg virus infection often results from prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies. Once an individual is infected with the virus, it can spread through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with the blood, secretions or other body fluids of infected or deceased people.

  Meriem El Boudadi

Meriem El Boudadi is a journalist with a decade of experience in television, radio, and online journalism. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from (ISIC) Morocco, and a Master’s degree in Journalism Studies from Concordia University Montreal. She is fluent in three languages, which helps her work on fact-checks from different regions.

Read more about or contact Meriem El Boudadi

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