Outbreak of incurable virus that turns people into ghosts with diarrhoea

An outbreak of an incurable virus has seen afflicted individuals turn "into ghosts" with bleeding gums thanks to some grim symptoms.

There was a surge in cases of the Marburg virus in Equatorial New Guinea and the United Republic of Tanzania earlier this year.

A total of 12 people have died in Equatorial New Guinea because of the virus so far, as well as four further deaths in Tanzania.

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The virus, which is part of the same family as what causes Ebola, is usually contracted from prolonged exposure to caves and mines, with afflicted individuals suffering from a "ghost-like" appearance, according to the World Health Organisation.

Other symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting as well as high fever, severe headaches and severe malaise.

Many patients suffering from the virus develop a haemorrhage after seven days, with a non-itchy rash appearing after two to seven days of infection.

Patients may also suffer frequent bleeding from the gums, nose and vagina, with death usually settling in after eight or nine days.

There is currently no cure for the Marburg virus, which leaves the afflicted with bouts of abdominal pain, cramping and muscle aches as well.

There is currently no cure for MVD, but a range of potential treatments include blood products, immune and drug therapies. Rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids are key for care.

It can be difficult to distinguish the Marburg virus from the likes of malaria or typhoid fever.

One key difference however is in the build up to death, with those suffering the worst symptoms from the virus left in a state of shock just before they pass.

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