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Prevention

Preventive measures against Marburg virus infection are not well defined, as transmission from wildlife to humans remains an area of ongoing research. However, avoiding fruit bats, and sick non-human primates in central Africa, is one way to protect against infection.

Measures for prevention of secondary, or person-to-person, transmission are similar to those used for other hemorrhagic fevers. If a patient is either suspected or confirmed to have Marburg hemorrhagic fever, barrier nursing techniques should be used to prevent direct physical contact with the patient. These precautions include wearing of protective gowns, gloves, and masks; placing the infected individual in strict isolation; and sterilization or proper disposal of needles, equipment, and patient excretions.

In conjunction with the World Health Organization, CDC has developed practical, hospital-based guidelines, titled: Infection Control for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers In the African Health Care Setting. The manual can help health-care facilities recognize cases and prevent further hospital-based disease transmission using locally available materials and few financial resources.

Marburg hemorrhagic fever is a very rare human disease. However, when it occurs, it has the potential to spread to other people, especially health care staff and family members who care for the patient. Therefore, increasing awareness in communities and among health-care providers of the clinical symptoms of patients with Marburg hemorrhagic fever is critical. Better awareness can lead to earlier and stronger precautions against the spread of Marburg virus in both family members and health-care providers. Improving the use of diagnostic tools is another priority. With modern means of transportation that give access even to remote areas, it is possible to obtain rapid testing of samples in disease control centers equipped with Biosafety Level 4 laboratories in order to confirm or rule out Marburg virus infection.

 
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