Following several weeks of little new information on Equatorial Guinea's first Marburg virus outbreak, which began in January, the country is reporting more cases and more extensive transmission of the virus, according to an update yesterday from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Eight more confirmed cases have been reported, bringing the total to nine. Seven people among the nine confirmed cases have died from their infections. There are also 20 probable cases, all fatal.
Of the eight new confirmed cases, two are from Kie-Ntem province, four are from Litoral, and two are from Centro Sur. The WHO said the provinces are about 150 kilometers (93 miles) apart, suggesting wider transmission. It also said uncertain epidemiologic links in Centro Sur suggest potential undetected spread of the virus.
The group added that it has deployed experts to Equatorial Guinea to assist the nation's response and community engagement. Given that the country is grappling with the virus for the first time, its capacity needs to the strengthened, the WHO said.
The three affected provinces share borders with Cameroon and Gabon, and international crossings are frequent with porous borders. The WHO assessed the risk to Equatorial Guinea as very high, to the region as moderate, and to the globe as low.
Tanzania this week confirmed its first Marburg virus outbreak. Since 2021, four African countries have reported their first outbreaks involving the virus, which is similar to Ebola.