Man suspected of having Marburg virus in Spain tests negative

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A man in Spain who was initially suspected of having the deadly Marburg disease tested negative on Saturday and does not have the virus, the health ministry said.

Health authorities in Valencia earlier said they had detected the country’s first suspected case of the infectious disease that has led to the quarantining of more than 200 people in Equatorial Guinea.

The 34-year-old man, who had recently been in Equatorial Guinea, had since been given the all clear but would be tested again in the coming weeks, officials said.

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He had been transferred from a private hospital to an isolation unit at the Hospital La Fe in Valencia while tests were carried out, the Valencian regional health authorities said.

Three health staff who are treating the man were also isolated as a precautionary measure, authorities said.

Marburg virus can have a fatality rate of up to 88 percent, according to the World Health Organization. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat it.

Equatorial Guinea quarantined more than 200 people and restricted movement on February 13 in its Kie-Ntem province, where the hemorrhagic fever was first detected.

The small central African country has so far reported nine deaths as well as 16 suspected cases of the disease, with symptoms including fever, fatigue, blood-stained vomit and diarrhea, according to the WHO.

Cameroonian authorities detected two suspected cases of Marburg disease on February 13 in Olamze, a commune on the border with Equatorial Guinea, the public health delegate for the region, Robert Mathurin Bidjang, said on February 14.

Cameroon had restricted movement along the border to try to avoid contagion.

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