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What is the Marburg virus, which has claimed two lives in Africa?

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Two people have died from the Marburg virus in Ghana, with up to 100 people in quarantine

The Marburg virus traces back to monkeys imported from Uganda. But it has been linked to many other animals since then.

It started with two large outbreaks of the virus, which occurred simultaneously in the German town of Marburg and Frankfurt, and in Belgrade, Serbia.

This led the World Health Organisation to formally identify the virus in 1967, after 31 people became infected.

In fact, there was an outbreak in 2005, where over 300 people were killed in Angola.

The virus’ common symptoms include fever, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, and extreme blood loss.

In Europe, one person has died in the past 40 years. Likewise, in the U.S. one person has died after returning from Africa.

Should I be concerned?

Ghana is in the grips of a Marburg outbreak, where two people have been killed. It is understood fatality rates range from 24 to 88 per cent.

The World Health Organisation says the virus can get out of hand, but notes local health authorities have responded swiftly.

“Many people go on to bleed from various parts of the body and die eight to nine days after first falling ill, because of extreme loss of blood and shock.”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION

Patients have been described as “ghost-like”, with a “deep set of eyes”, and “extreme lethargy”.

Critically, there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved for the Marburg virus.

However, the World Health Organisation believes rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids, and the treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival.

How can I avoid it?

People remain infectious with Marburg for as long as their blood contains the virus.

The disease spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people.

The World Health Organisation says healthcare workers have been infected while previously treating patients.

“Transmission via contaminated injection equipment or through needle-stick injuries is associated with more severe disease, rapid deterioration, and, possibly, a higher fatality rate.”

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION

Similar to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation recommends “good outbreak control” that uses a “range of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing”.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

Tech

Porn floods Twitter “China” search

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Twitter users have been finding it hard to search for information on the social media platform due to an explosion of pornographic spam.

While thousands of protests against extended lockdowns, a digital bot army has roared into action on Twitter, with long-dormant Chinese language accounts suddenly tweeting links to escort services and other adult content.

Anyone trying to track the spontaneous protest movement on Twitter complained about the deluge of spam pornographic content making flooding the search for information.

The China protests come at a time when Twitter’s content and moderation teams have been pared back drastically following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the social media giant.

Twitter, along with other international social media services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, is blocked by Beijing’s internet censors within Mainland China.

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World

Biden silence on China protests

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As citizens across China revolt against the country’s “zero Covid” policy, the White House issued a statement about the growing protests.

“‘We’ve long said everyone has the right to peacefully protest, in the United States and around the world,’ a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.

‘This includes in the [People’s Republic of China.]’

“‘Zero COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here,’ the spokesperson said.

‘And as we’ve said, we think it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero COVID strategy.’”

Commentators have noted that the statement came from the White House, and not President Biden himself.

Demonstrators are calling on President Joe Biden to take a stance and publicly support their cause.

The protests have continued despite numerous attempts by the Chinese government to quell them.

 

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Business

China protests hit global markets, crypto

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Investor watches markets

The protests in China are having a negative impact on cryptocurrencies and markets around the world.

Bitcoin failed to break its descent and fell more than 3 percent.

The global crypto market cap fell over 2%, sending major cryptos into the red.

Over the last 24 hours, overall crypto market volume grew by 22%.

It comes amid a round of investor nervousness in global markets spurred by protests in China against Covid restrictions.

Protesters outraged by harsh COVID-19 regulations called for China’s strong leader to quit.

China is the world’s second-largest economy and has a significant impact on global financial markets.

Stocks and cryptos aren’t considered safe havens, leading to bearing price action.

Analysts are hoping for a sharp bullish reversal if and when the protests end.

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