Friday, July 11, 2008

Stay Out of the Batcave!

A 40-year old woman died after returning from South America, where she is believed to have contracted the deadly Marburg virus while visiting a cave infested by fruit bats.

The Marburg virus is akin to Ebola and there is no known treatment, vaccine, or cure for either. Early symptoms include stomach concerns (nausea, vomiting, pain, diarrhea), which leads to high fever and bleeding.

Officials say this was an isolated case and travelers need not change their vacation plans, but do need to stay out of caves where bats live if in Uganda. Just, you know, so you know. Still, everyone with whom the woman had close contact is being closely monitored.

The Marburg and Ebola virii have an 80-90% mortality rate in primates and humans. An outbreak in 2004-05 killed over 300 people.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008
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