Bats

In 2008, a 41-year old woman was admitted to the Leiden University Medical Centre after contracting Marburg virus while holidaying in Uganda: unfortunately, she did not recover from the disease. The doctors involved in the case have reviewed the events in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The woman presumably contracted the disease on a visit to a cave occupied by infected bats. The genetic material of this specific strain of the virus was assessed, and is now registered in the computer as the "Leiden strain"; it’s closest relative is the virus that surfaced in the German town of Popp in 1967 – that virus also originated in Uganda.

In a terrifying conclusion, the researchers list the absolute minimum requirements for treating Marburg patients and their remains: "The bodies should be sprayed with bleach, and put in a body bag which also needs to be sprayed with bleach. The people who bury the corpses must wear aprons, two pairs of gloves, masks, safety goggles and welly boots, all of which must be cleaned with bleach afterwards, or burned within 24 hours."

In other words: try to steer clear of the virus.

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