Marburg and Ebola: A Case for Increased Funding for Research and Preparedness
In recent years, the world has been grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown how unprepared we can be for a new virus.
In recent years, the world has been grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown how unprepared we can be for a new virus. However, Marburg and Ebola viruses have been on the global health radar for much longer, and we still have a long way to go in terms of understanding these viruses and developing treatments and vaccines. In this blog post, we argue that increased funding for research into Marburg and Ebola viruses and global preparedness for potential outbreaks is crucial to prevent future epidemics.
Marburg and Ebola viruses: what are they?
Marburg virus (MARV) is a hemorrhagic fever virus of the Filoviridae family of viruses and a member of the species Marburg marburgvirus, genus Marburgvirus. It causes Marburg virus disease in primates, a form of viral hemorrhagic fever. The virus is considered to be extremely dangerous. The World Health Organization (WHO) rates it as a Risk Group 4 Pathogen (requiring biosafety level 4-equivalent containment). In the United States, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases ranks it as a Category A Priority Pathogen, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists it as a Category A Bioterrorism Agent. It is also listed as a biological agent for export control by the Australia Group.
The virus can be transmitted by exposure to one species of fruit bats, or it can be transmitted between people via body fluids through unprotected sex and broken skin. The disease can cause haemorrhage, fever, and other symptoms similar to Ebola, which belongs to the same family of viruses. According to the WHO, there are no approved vaccines or antiviral treatment for Marburg, but early, professional treatment of symptoms like dehydration considerably increases survival chances.
Ebola virus is also a member of the Filoviridae family of viruses, and it is the cause of Ebola virus disease. Like Marburg, Ebola virus is a highly infectious and deadly pathogen that can cause severe bleeding, organ failure, and death. The virus is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids, such as blood, vomit, and feces. The Ebola outbreak that occurred in West Africa in 2014-2016 was the largest and most complex since the virus was first discovered in 1976. The outbreak resulted in over 28,000 cases and over 11,000 deaths.
Why increased funding is necessary
Despite the severity of Marburg and Ebola viruses, funding for research and development has been insufficient. It is only in recent years that there has been increased attention on these viruses, and this is mainly due to the recent outbreaks of Ebola virus. However, we cannot wait for an outbreak to occur before we take action. We need to be proactive and invest in research to better understand these viruses and develop treatments and vaccines.
Currently, there are no approved vaccines or antiviral treatments for Marburg virus. There is also no specific treatment for Ebola virus, although several experimental treatments have been developed in recent years. The lack of approved treatments and vaccines for these viruses is a significant gap in our preparedness for potential outbreaks.
Furthermore, outbreaks of Marburg and Ebola viruses have occurred in remote areas of Africa, making it challenging to control the spread of the virus. In addition, the viruses are highly infectious and can spread quickly, making it necessary to have a rapid response to prevent an epidemic.
Increased funding for research into Marburg and Ebola viruses is necessary to address these gaps in preparedness. More research is needed to understand the biology of the viruses, including how they spread and interact with host cells. This knowledge is crucial in the development of effective treatments and vaccines.
The linked articles below can help you as you seek to learn more about Marburg Virus and Ebola:
- Marburg and Ebola: A Case for Increased Funding for Research and Preparedness
- Marburg and Ebola: A Comparison of the Economic Costs of Outbreaks
- Marburg and Ebola: The Psychological Impact on Survivors
- Global Preparedness for Marburg and Ebola Virus Outbreaks
- Marburg and Ebola: The Role of Healthcare Workers
- Marburg and Ebola: A Comparison of Global Response Efforts
- Marburg and Ebola: Lessons Learned from Past Outbreaks
- The Socioeconomic Impact of Marburg and Ebola Outbreaks
- The Ethics of Research on Marburg and Ebola Viruses
- Marburg and Ebola: A Study of Their Genetic Makeup
- The Role of Bats in the Transmission of Marburg and Ebola Viruses
- Marburg and Ebola: Similarities and Differences in Symptoms and Treatment
- Outbreaks of Marburg Virus and Ebola: A Historical Comparison