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More on the Marburg Virus Outbreak . . .

Courtesy of Wikipedia. . .

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.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
spookyshoes
Apr. 10th, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)
Sooooo......am I gonna die?? Aiiieeee!!!!
xterminal
Apr. 11th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
Marburg is one of my favorite viruses. I actually wrote a poem about it.

(Which, I am sure, is a mini-paragraph you never thought you would ever hear...)
razorslave
Apr. 11th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC)
Gah, someone else who writes hemorrhagic fever poems. . . A little suprising to hearing it coming from someone else is all.

Rev
xterminal
Apr. 11th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
heh heh.

Marburg
"I'd shudder. Then I'd catch on fire, and go out." -Boris Pasternak, "Marburg"


The vehicle. The delicious
fire of nonintelligence.
It grinds
through squalid streets,
crushes rats, infects
the dirty faces
of children.

It has no eyes, no face,
it cannot see colors,
pointed stars.
It lives to live;
it touches to touch.
It burns.

* * *

The Marburg hospital nurses
can do nothing; painkillers
cannot stop the wrack
of eyes that cry blood tears,
of bowels that loose, disgorge
the vital organs.
The whispered word
goes round the break room,
stops at the door
as if afraid
to be confronted with its meaning.

Doctors spar with clergy
over its origin, of course.
They always do. The word
is spoken, on both sides,
talked of in tones best left
for last rites.

The media has the final
say. The word is blared
across the front page:

PLAGUE

* * *

The vehicle. It came,
it moved. Passed on
into the Oder, perhaps.
Still blind, it slips
away; back whence
it came, or into sleep.

It has no sense
of time, or place.
It cannot set alarms.
It sleeps to sleep;
It moves to move.
It burns.

* * *

Still needs a lot of work... one of these days I'll get around to revising it, which I've been saying since 1997...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )