2004-2005 outbreak in Angola
In early 2005, the World Health Organization began investigating an outbreak of a then-undiagnosed hemorrhagic fever in Angola, which was centered around the northeast province of Uige. The outbreak was believed to have began towards the end of 2004. On March 22, 2005, as the death toll neared 100, the cause of the illness was identified as the Marburg virus. By April 8, 2005, it had spread to 7 of 18 provinces and 180 of 205 known cases had been fatal.
According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of the deaths in Angola have been children under the age of 15, but the virus has also started to claim adult victims, including six nurses and two foreign doctors. Countries with direct air links, such as Portugal, have begun screening passengers arriving from Angola. The Angolan government has asked for international assistance, pointing out that there are only about 1,200 doctors in the entire country, with some provinces having as few as two. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that when their team arrived at the provincial hospital at the centre of the outbreak, they found it operating without water and electricity.
Meanwhile, at Americo Boa Vida hospital in the capital, Luanda, a team of international experts prepared a special isolation ward to handle cases from the countryside. Despite the 30-degree Celsius temperatures, volunteer workers trained in white isolation suits which covered them from head to toe. The ward will be able to accommodate up to 40 patients when it opens.