The Australian government has issued a new travel advisory for three destinations following outbreaks of an extremely deadly virus.
Travellers planning to visit Tanzania, Uganda and Gabon have been warned to “exercise a high degree of caution” by the government, due to an outbreak of the Marburg virus.
Part of the same family as the Ebola disease, Marburg is a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic fever. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the fatality rate can be up to 88 per cent.
Travellers heading to these locations have been warned about the fever.
“The Tanzanian Government has confirmed an outbreak of Marburg virus in the Bukoba District in Kagera Region,” says the SmartTraveller website, which is part of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“You should take steps to reduce potential exposure to the virus, including practising good hygiene and avoiding high-risk activities.”
Symptoms of Marburg include fever, vomiting blood, diarrhoea and fatigue.
Speaking to 1News, New Zealand’s MFAT said it was “aware of reports of cases of Marburg virus in the region”.
However, at the time of reporting, MFAT’s SafeTravel website only advises Kiwi travellers to “exercise increased caution” in Tanzania “due to violent crime and the threat of terrorism”.
Travel advisories are reviewed regularly based on available information, according to MFAT, which directed people towards the Ministry of Health for more information on Marburg.
“You can find some information on viral haemorrhagic fevers – including Marburg virus – on the Ministry of Health’s website,” it said.
There are currently no approved vaccines or antiviral treatments that can treat Marburg but vaccine trials could soon take place in countries experiencing outbreaks, said WHO.