04/06/2023: Lab Advisory: CDC Issues Health Alert for Marburg Disease Outbreaks

CDC's Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS)

Audience: Clinical Laboratories

Level: Laboratory Advisory

On April 6, 2023, CDC issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) message about recent outbreaks of Marburg virus disease (MVD).

The risk of travel-associated MVD in the United States is very low. MVD is similar to other illnesses associated with viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs), such as Ebola virus disease. The likelihood of MVD is very low, and patients with symptoms should be tested and treated accordingly for other more likely conditions. Clinical laboratories can safely perform common diagnostic testing by following Standard Precautions for All Patient Care and Universal Precautions for Preventing the Transmission of Bloodborne Infections.

Clinicians concerned that a patient may have MVD should immediately contact their state, tribal, local, or territorial (STLT) health department or CDC to determine if testing for MVD is needed. CDC’s Viral Special Pathogens Branch (VSPB) is available 24/7 for consultations on VHFs. You can request VSPB’s on-call epidemiologist by contacting the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.

If testing for MVD is needed, CDC and the STLT health department will provide guidance and instructions on specimen collection and shipping to public health laboratories that are members of the Laboratory Response Network.

If public health laboratory testing determines a diagnosis of MVD, clinical teams should coordinate with STLT public health officials and CDC to ensure appropriate precautions are taken to help prevent the potential spread and coordinate care.

We encourage you to share this message widely with your networks.

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Thank you,

The Laboratory Outreach Communication System

Laboratory Outreach Communication System (LOCS) | Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS)

Office of Laboratory Science and Safety (OLSS)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)