Rare Marburg outbreak confirmed by WHO: 5 notes

Health officials are responding to a rare outbreak of Marburg virus in Equatorial Guinea, the World Health Organization said Feb. 13. The virus, a relative of Ebola, has no known treatments or cures. 

Five things to know:

1. As of Feb. 13, nine deaths and 16 suspected Marburg cases have been reported.  

2. The outbreak is Equatorial Guinea's first and only the 16th recorded in global history, according to the CDC. Of the known outbreaks, 11 involved four or fewer cases. 

3. The WHO has dispatched a team of medical experts to aid in Equatorial Guinea's response efforts. The organization also sent personal protective equipment for hundreds of healthcare workers. 

4. On Feb. 14, the WHO held a meeting to discuss efforts to accelerate research and clinical trials for Marburg vaccines and treatments. 

5. Like Ebola, Marburg is a highly virulent disease transmitted to humans from fruit bats. The virus is spread among humans via bodily fluids. Symptoms include hemorrhagic fever, headache, malaise, nausea and vomiting.

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