Portuguese not among Marburg victims

news: Portuguese not among Marburg victims

ANALYSES of blood samples taken from two men in Portugal, suspected of having the deadly Ebola-like, Marburg virus have proved negative. One man was admitted to the Curry Cabral Hospital but has now been discharged. The other died of malaria in a private health unit in Lisbon. The Director General of Health ordered blood samples from the two men to be sent to a laboratory in Germany for emergency analysis. The results, however, showed the virus was not present.

Meanwhile, in Angola, the outbreak of the Marburg virus has grown worse, claiming over 20 lives in the past few days with the death toll now creeping up to the 200 mark. A recent statement, issued jointly by the World Health Organisation and the Angolan government, said that 80 per cent of the confirmed cases involved children under the age of 15, with the worst affected area being the province of Uíge, about 300km from Luanda.

There have so far been no reports of casualties among the 30,000 Portuguese nationals resident in the country. With volunteer workers and experts from Medecins sans Frontieres, dressed in protective ‘Ebola-suits’, working round the clock preparing special wards to accommodate confirmed Marburg victims, Portuguese diplomats consider the situation worrying, but say that there is “no reason for alarm”. The consulate is advising people to avoid travelling to the Uíge area.