Marburg fever: symptoms and treatment

Marburg fever is a serious and dangerous disease that is accompanied by damage to the liver and central nervous system, as well as hemorrhagic syndrome. This is an infectious disease, the outcome of which is often lethal.

It should be noted that the disease is not widespread - in the past 50 years only a few cases have been reported. Nevertheless, many people are interested in additional information about the infection. So what is Marburg's hemorrhagic fever? What are the ways the infection spreads? What symptoms should I pay attention to? Can modern medicine offer effective therapy? The answers to these questions are interesting to many people.

Marburg fever: a description of the disease and a brief historical background

marburg fever

To begin with, it is worth noting that this is a fairly rare disease that is not well known to the general public. Marburg fever is an infectious, viral disease that is accompanied by severe intoxication, the appearance of cutaneous hemorrhages and internal bleeding. It is worth noting that the ailment often ends lethal.

For the first time, small outbreaks of the disease were recorded in 1967 simultaneously in the cities of Marburg and Frankfurt. In addition, there is evidence of a case of an illness in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Later it was proved that the reservoir of infection was African green monkeys. During the outbreak of the disease specialists also noted that pathogenic viruses can be transmitted from person to person.

Marburg fever in Africa was also recorded - cases of illness were recorded in Kenya and South Africa.

Features of the structure and life of the causative agent

What is the fever Marburg? Causes, ways of spreading the infection, features of vital activity of pathogenic microorganisms are, of course, important moments.

The causative agent of this disease is the RNA-genomic virus, which belongs to the genus Filovirus( family Filoviridae).By the way, to date, there are four serotonergic types of this pathogen. It is also worth mentioning that the infections that lead to the development of diseases such as the fever of Marburg and Ebola have some similar properties. For example, both pathogens are thermostable, sensitive to the effects of chloroform and ethyl alcohol.

A virus that provokes hemorrhagic fever is characterized by polymorphism - virions can have a round, worm-like or spiral shape. The length of the viral particle is 665-1200 nm, and the diameter is 70-80 nm.

There is evidence that these pathogens can be spread by exoparasites. In the body of mosquitoes belonging to the species Anopheles Maculipennis, viral particles retain their vital functions for eight days, and in the cells of tick Ixodes ricinus - up to 15 days.

How is the infection transmitted?

Despite the fact that the first cases of the disease among people were caused by contact with green monkeys, the features of the infection circulation between the representatives of this group of animals have not been fully studied yet.

Hemorrhagic fever Marburg is a highly contagious disease, in most cases the source of infection is an infected person. The virus penetrates the body through the mucous membranes( for example, the tissues of the oral cavity, conjunctiva of the eyes) and damaged skin tissues. Casual contact with a sick patient, kisses, ingestion of microparticles of saliva on the mucous membrane of the eyes - these are the main ways of transmission of the pathogen.

It should be noted that the disease can spread and sexually, because the virus particles are present in the semen. Possible and contact-household transmission path, as the pathogen is contained in the feces of the patient, blood, saliva and other internal fluids.

Man has been a reservoir of infection for many months. There are cases of infection from people 2-3 months after the complete disappearance of symptoms. That is why it is so important to isolate a sick patient and adhere to safety rules.

Pathogenesis of

hemorrhagic fever

As already mentioned, Marburg fever is a viral disease, and the infection penetrates the body through mucous membranes and skin tissues.

Infection is rapidly spreading throughout the body. The virus can multiply in virtually any tissue - its traces are found in the spleen, liver, bone marrow, lungs, testicles of men. By the way, viral particles are present in the blood and semen for a long time - sometimes they are detected 2-3 months after the illness.

Already at the initial stages it is possible to observe rapid cell death and the formation of small foci of necrosis in various organs. Expressed inflammatory reactions in this case are absent.

The situation is exacerbated, as the infection contributes to the occurrence of various disorders of microcirculation. There is also a change in the rheological properties of the blood. That is why the disease is accompanied by spasm and thrombosis of small vessels, increased permeability of arterial and venous walls.

The lack of an adequate response from the immune system is another factor that complicates the disease. Marburg fever often results in shock, swelling of the brain or lungs, which in turn leads to the death of the patient.

Symptoms of the initial stage of

What disorders are accompanied by Marburg fever? Symptoms of ailment are various. The incubation period lasts up to 12 days.

Patient conditions tend to deteriorate suddenly. The body temperature rises sharply. The patient complains of chills, body aches, weakness. Man can hardly breathe. There is a sore throat and an annoying dry cough. When examining the oral cavity, one can notice the appearance of reddish rashes in the tongue and in the sky. The patient also notes the appearance of pain in the jaw during chewing or talking.

To the initial symptoms of the disease include severe migraines, chest pains, muscle weakness. Often, the virus causes conjunctivitis, which is accompanied by scant discharge, severe itching, reddening of the mucous membrane of the eyes.

Features of the clinical picture in the first week of

disease fever marburg

It is worth noting that every stage of the ailment is accompanied by the appearance of new symptoms. If during the first few days patients complain only of general weakness and symptoms of intoxication, on the 4th-5th day the symptoms become more characteristic.

Patients complain of sharp, cutting pains in the abdomen. There are also other disorders of the digestive tract, including severe nausea and vomiting, loose stools. Sometimes in the vomit, you can notice impurities, even blood clots.

Approximately in the same period, hemorrhagic syndrome develops - patients complain of blood from the nose. More massive gastrointestinal and uterine bleeding is possible.

The virus continues to spread throughout the body, which affects the work of the nervous system - patients often lose consciousness. There are also convulsive seizures. Other symptoms include rashes on the skin, which are localized mainly in the neck, face, upper extremities.

Second week of illness and possible complications of

fever marburg symptoms

The second week is considered the most dangerous, as it is during this period that complications incompatible with life develop.

Patients become very difficult to breathe. The body is very dehydrated. Severe toxicosis can lead to the development of shock conditions. Infection affects the work of the nervous and endocrine systems, which leads to the emergence of various disorders, including psychoses.

To the list of possible symptoms include heart rhythm disturbances, pulmonary edema, acute renal failure. It is possible to develop a myocardial infarction.

How does the healing process go?

Even if the patient managed to endure the most difficult period of the disease, it is worthwhile to understand that the process of recovery will be long. As a rule, the human body is restored within 3-4 weeks. At this time, many patients complain of persistent weakness, nausea and loss of appetite. That is why they are recommended for rest and nutrition - in the menu you need to enter high-calorie, but easily digestible products.

Sometimes it is possible to observe hair loss throughout the patient's body. It should be noted that fever often flows into pneumonia, encephalitis and other inflammatory diseases.

Diagnostic measures

fever marburg disease description

Diagnosis in this case is difficult, since there are no characteristic symptoms. Moreover, the ailment must be differentiated from other similar infections, including the Ebola virus.

An important stage is the collection of anamnesis, because it is important to know not only about the symptoms, but also about the place, conditions, in which the patient could catch the infection. Of course, blood tests are performed. The diagnostic process includes various serological and virological studies, including PCR, pH, ELISA and isolation of the virus culture. Such procedures allow to determine the nature of the pathogen and take appropriate measures.

Further instrumental studies are carried out, including electrocardiography and ultrasound of internal organs - this is the only way to assess the extent of damage to the body and the presence of complications.

How is a fever treated?

fever marburg treatment

What if the patient has a Marburg fever? Treatment, unfortunately, is only symptomatic. Therapy is aimed at eliminating dehydration, combating infectious-toxic shock, hemorrhagic syndrome and their consequences.

Patients are given intravenous platelet mass, rehydration and detoxification therapy. In some cases, doctors decide to introduce interferons into the treatment regimen. Sometimes patients are prescribed plasmaphoresis. Patients are also injected plasma convalescent.

It should be noted that all infected should be urgently hospitalized and placed in special boxes of the infectious disease department. In the process of treatment, it is very important to adhere to safety rules, more closely monitor disinfection and sterilization. Self-medication or home therapy is not allowed.

Possible complications of

Marburg fever is a disease that should not be ignored in any case. Even with adequate treatment, the risk of developing certain complications is high.

Infection affects the work of the liver and often ends with severe forms of hepatitis. Other complications include pneumonia, transverse myelitis, myocarditis, orchitis with further testicular atrophy. Fever has a negative effect on the functioning of the nervous system - some patients suffer from various psychoses. The most severe consequences include swelling of the brain and lungs, shock conditions, which can result in death of the patient.

Forecasts for patients

Marburg fever is an extremely dangerous disease. According to different data, the mortality rate among patients with this diagnosis fluctuates within very wide limits - 25-70%.

Even if it is a favorable outcome, it is worthwhile to understand that the recovery is slow. Quite often, the ailment is accompanied by a mass of complications that significantly worsen the standard of living of a person.

Fever Marburg: prophylaxis

fever marburg prophylaxis

Unfortunately, there are no special means that can completely protect against infection. To date, only a drug has been developed that contains a specific serum immunoglobulin. This drug is sometimes used for immunoprophylaxis, although its effectiveness is not 100%.

All patients with a similar infection must be hospitalized. Care of patients is carried out only by specially trained staff. It is important to use protective equipment and appropriate devices. It is necessary to understand that the virus spreads quickly and the human immune system is almost incapable of coping with the infection - it is extremely important to prevent the epidemic from developing.