|Description:||This 1975 photograph showed a CDC laboratory technician working through the gloved portals of a protective “glove box”, and at the time was conducting an investigation in order to determine if a spider had any trace of the Marburg virus.|
This study took place after two travelers were hospitalized with Marburg disease in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1975. One of the travelers (case #1) came into contact with an unknown vector while traveling through Rhodesia, now named Zimbabwe. The vector was never identified.
Just how the animal host first transmits Marburg virus to humans is unknown. However, as with some other viruses which cause viral hemorrhagic fever, humans who become ill with Marburg hemorrhagic fever may spread the virus to other people. This may happen in several ways. Those who have handled infected monkeys, and have come in direct contact with their fluids or cell cultures have become infected. Spread of the virus between humans has occurred in a setting of close contact, often in a hospital. Droplets of body fluids, or direct contact with persons, equipment, or other objects contaminated with infectious blood or tissues are all highly suspect as sources of disease.