Risk of Exposure

Bats roosting in a cave
Egyptian rousette bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus)

People may be at risk of exposure to marburgviruses if they have contact with:

  • Egyptian rousette bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus – the reservoir host), or their urine and/or excretions;
  • People sick with Marburg virus disease (MVD); or
  • Non-human primates infected with a Marburgvirus

Historically, the people at highest risk include family members and hospital staff who care for patients with Marburg virus disease and have not used proper infection prevention and control measures. Certain occupations, such as veterinarians, laboratory or quarantine facility workers who handle non-human primates from Africa, or miners, may also be at increased risk of exposure to marburgviruses.

Exposure risk can be higher for those travelers visiting endemic regions in Africa who have contact with bats, especially Egyptian rousette bats, or enter caves or mines inhabited by bats.

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