By Chris King • 25 May 2023 • 21:22
Image of a doctor holding a test tube containing a blood sample.
Credit: Mauro Rodrigues/Shutterstock.com
The Spanish Ministry of Health has ruled out the presence of suspected Marburg virus in a patient admitted to the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Santander.
A middle-aged woman entered the facility yesterday, Wednesday, May 24, suffering from fever, vomiting, and headaches, all of which are symptoms compatible with this highly contagious disease.
Fears were heightened when it was discovered that she had recently returned from a trip to Equatorial Guinea. The protocol for hemorrhagic fever was initiated by the authorities as a precaution.
Sources from the Ministry of Health of Cantabria informed EFE that the results of a PCR test performed on the patient – who they assured is well and stable – came back negative, as reported by larazon.es.
She also tested negative for other diseases, including Ebola and Lassa, after the tests carried out at the laboratory of the National Centre for Microbiology of Majadahonda in Madrid.
The Coordination Centre for Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) said that it considered the probability of infection of Spanish citizens travelling or residing in the affected areas of Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania – where an outbreak has also broken out – was very low. Even so, it was maintaining a continuous risk assessment at all times.
Like Ebola, the Marburg virus causes sudden bleeding and can cause death in a few days. It has an incubation period of 2-21 days and a mortality rate of up to 88 per cent.
Similarly, the Lassa virus reportedly has an increased mortality rate of 60 per cent in Nigeria since the start of 2023. However, the CCAES argued that, despite the strong relationship between the two countries at an economic and commercial level, the risk for the Spanish population is also very low due to the possibility of isolating possible cases in high-level units.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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