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Tanzania Confirms Marburg Cases

FILE - A Kenya medical worker wearing full protective equipment decontaminates a cup used by a man being quarantined after coming into contact in Uganda with a carrier of the Marburg Virus, taken Oct. 8, 2014. Now Tanzania has recorded ti first Marburg case.

DAR ES SALAAM - Tanzania has confirmed its first-ever cases of Marburg, a high-fatality viral hemorrhagic fever with symptoms broadly similar to those of Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The WHO said in a late Tuesday statement that the confirmation of the disease by Tanzania's national public laboratory followed the death of five of eight people in Tanzania's northwest Kagera region who developed symptoms, which include fever, vomiting, bleeding and renal failure.

"The efforts by Tanzania's health authorities to establish the cause of the disease is a clear indication of the determination to effectively respond to the outbreak," said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

"We are working with the government to rapidly scale up control measures to halt the spread of the virus."

With a fatality rate of as high as 88%, Marburg is from the same virus family responsible for Ebola and is transmitted to people from fruit bats. It then spreads through contact with bodily fluids of infected people.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache and malaise which typically develop within seven days of infection, according to the WHO.