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Updated April 2023

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE (MoFAICUAE) has issued a travel advisory, warning UAE citizens against traveling to Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania due to the endemic of the Marburg virus.

UAE citizens residing in or visiting these two countries are also advised to take precautions and follow the safety instructions recommended by the competent authorities.

In case of emergencies, UAE citizens are asked to contact the Ministry directly at 0097180024.

In the past week, the health ministry of Equatorial Guinea has confirmed nine deaths, while Tanzania reported five fatalities due to the Marburg virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted the spread of the virus to neighboring countries such as Gabon and Cameroon.

Marburg disease is a viral hemorrhagic fever that can have a fatality rate as high as 88%, according to the WHO. The virus can induce severe fever, bleeding, and organ failure in patients, with symptoms including severe headache, fever, stomach pain, muscle pains, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Marburg virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats, and those who spend extended periods of time in caves and mines populated by bats are most likely to contract the virus. It comes from the same virus family as the lethal Ebola disease.

Currently, there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments available against the Marburg virus disease. However, potential treatments such as blood products, immune therapies, drug therapies, and early candidate vaccines are being tested.