Marburg and Ebola: What’s the Difference?

The Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola that can kill as many as 90 percent of the people it infects, has appeared in Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea for the first time in either country. The government of Equatorial Guinea reports nine confirmed and 20 suspected Marburg deaths there since January, and Tanzania has seen five confirmed Marburg deaths since March.

Marburg has similarities to Ebola but is different. To understand these differences and what needs to be done to treat and protect people, we will be joined by Dr. Hadson Kunsa, a Ugandan physician and an Ebola survivor. While on duty at a hospital in Mubende last September, he and five colleagues contracted Ebola from the first known patient in the Uganda Sudan Ebola virus outbreak, becoming severely ill. After receiving supportive care, he and two other colleagues recovered and were able to return to clinical work. Dr. Kunsa is dedicated to using his experience, insights and knowledge in order to inform epidemic prevention and control. Dr Kunsa will share his story and provide guidance on dealing with the Marburg and Ebola outbreaks in Africa.

We will also be joined by two Internews Media Mentors, Adele Baleta and Kate Thomas, who will guide journalists on the differences between Ebola and Marburg and discuss how journalists can best inform audiences about the diseases. In addition, RCCE working group member UNICEF will share the latest community conversations, misinformation, and rumors on social media that UNICEF and other groups are tracking in the East and Southern Africa region regarding the Marburg and Ebola outbreaks.