Joint Research on Marburg Disease between University of Zambia SVM and the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI)


The Project for the Epidemiological Research on Zoonotic Virus Infections in Africa detected the Marburg virus from Egyptian fruit bats in Zambia. Marburg virus is known to cause Marburg disease, a severe hemorrhagic fever. Considering the severity of the disease and the recent outbreaks on the African continent, the Project promptly shared information with ZNPHI through our counterparts in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Zambia. Based on this information, ZNPHI called on Zambian people’s attention to the existence of the Marburg virus in the country on its website when the Marburg disease outbreak occurred in Tanzania in March 2023.

Marburg virus is closely related to Ebola virus similar in structure, and both belong to the filovirus family. The two viruses cause severe disease and death in people, with fatality rates between 22% to 90%. Both diseases are characterized by a wide range of signs and symptoms, including fever, body aches, severe gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting, lethargy, and sometimes bleeding.

Since April 2023, ZNPHI, the University of Zambia SVM, Hokkaido University and the Project have been preparing to conduct surveillance of the Marburg virus in Zambia.

Preparatory meeting at ZNPHI on 16th May 2023

Preparatory meeting at ZNPHI on 16th May 2023

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