Risk of Exposure

Bats roosting in a cave
African fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) roosting inside a cave in Uganda.

People may be at risk of exposure to Marburg virus if they have close contact with:

  • African fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus – the reservoir host of Marburg virus), or their urine and/or excretions;
  • People sick with Marburg virus disease; or
  • Non-human primates infected with Marburg virus

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

Exposure risk can be higher for those travelers visiting endemic regions in Africa who have contact with fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus), or enter caves or mines inhabited by these bats.

Related Information