UAE again warns against dangerous Marburg virus


The UAE has issued a second health warning against the Marburg virus, urging its citizens and residents to take preventative measures and avoid travel to countries where an outbreak has been reported.

“The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has urged the public to be aware of the virus causing Marburg hemorrhagic fever and to avoid travelling to Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea unless it’s necessary due to the recent spread of Marburg virus,” the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Tuesday.

“The Ministry has emphasized that all necessary precautions are being taken in accordance with international health standards to contain the virus in its current geographical scope. The situation in these countries is being closely monitored to determine the global severity of the disease,” the health ministry said in a statement.

On Monday, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation advised the public against traveling to Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania.

Saudi Arabia and Oman have issued similar warnings as the World Health Organization estimated that the death toll from the outbreak is double what authorities have been reporting.

It also called on citizens living in the two African countries to take precautions and follow the relevant health measures to protect themselves against the virus.

Precautionary measures
If travel is unavoidable, people should take precautions such as avoiding close contact with patients, touching contaminated surfaces, and refraining from visiting caves and mines, the health ministry’s statement said.

UAE citizens and residents who have traveled back to the country from the affected areas must isolate themselves and seek medical attention at the nearest health facility or emergency department within hospitals, according to the ministry.

Individuals who have traveled to the affected areas must inform medical staff that they have been to an area where the Marburg virus disease is spreading, and whether they have been in contact with infected individuals, or exhibit symptoms for up to 21 days.

The health ministry also urged the public to not circulate unofficial information in regards to the Marburg virus and to only follow preventative measures issued by official platforms, WAM reported.

The health ministry also stressed that the UAE’s epidemiological surveillance system is very effective and is in constant coordination with other health authorities, WAM added.

The Marburg virus is a life-threatening disease that causes a severe fever, accompanied by bleeding organ failure, jaundice, and other serious health complications. It is transmitted from animals to humans in a closed environment, such as in mines or caves inhabited by bats.

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