March 2nd, 2020

In 1975, an Australian tourist became infected with MARV in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). He died in a hospital in JohannesburgSouth Africa. His girlfriend and an attending nurse was subsequently infected with MVD, but survived.[12][78][79] A young Australian couple travelling through the jungles of Southern Africa when they became contaminated in an area inhabited by baboons carrying Marburg Virus. The male partner was admitted to Johannesburg General Hospital with an unexplained high fever. His treating physicians, Brian Trappler, Graham Cassel, and John Gear, admitted him to the Unit of Thomas Bothwell, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Johannesburg General Hospital. The patient was placed on an infectious Disease Isolation Unit while his blood-cultures, failing to test positive for any known Infectious Pathogen, were sent to the C.D.C. in Atlanta, Georgia. Within days the patient succumbed to multiple organ failure and a Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Syndrome (hence the name “Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever”). At this point the Transvaal Department of Health set up the abandoned Hospital for Tuberculosis to quarantine the girlfriend and medical and nursing staff identified at risk from exposure following treatment of the original patient. In the ensuing days, the patient`s girlfriend and one of the nurses developed severe clinical signs of Marburg Virus Infection with high fevers and multiple organ failure. Part of the vigorous attempt to save their lives included an attempt to track down the survivors of the original outbreak of the disease among Laboratory workers in Marburg, Germany. Several Laboratory workers had died after a vial of blood broke, which had been sent to the lab when a baboon died following a fight between baboons in adjacent cages en-route to a zoo from the Republic of Congo. This was why the virus was named “Marburg Virus” – following this original outbreak in Marburg, Germany. As the two subsequent cases who contracted the virus became more critically ill with each passing day, requiring total organ support, it became a race against time to track-down the serum of the surviving Lab-workers in Marburg. Only when this momentous task was accomplished, and the original patient`s girlfriend and nurse received Antibody transfusions flown in from Germany from the Marburg-Infected survivors, was the course of the two infected patients in Johannesburg reverse course. Both survived. During this 3-week ordeal Dr.`s Trappler, Gear, and Cassel provided the hands-on care in the biogenically sealed quarantined hospital, where Professor Bothwell conducted daily medical rounds and closely liased with the C.D.C., who also provided hermetically-sealed suits and masks. The medical, but not epidemiological details were published in the British Medical Journal, 1975,4,489-493.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply