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Marburg, Influenza, and Covid-19

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Marburg virus disease


Human infection with Marburg virus disease (MVD) initially results from prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies.

Once an individual is infected with the virus, Marburg can spread through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

The incubation period (the time that passes from infection to onset of symptoms) varies from 2 to 21 days.

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Signs and symptoms

Approximately 33% of people with influenza are asymptomatic.

Symptoms of influenza can start quite suddenly one to two days after infection. Usually the first symptoms are chills and body aches, but fever is also common early in the infection, with body temperatures ranging from 38 to 39 °C (approximately 100 to 103 °F).  Many people are so ill that they are confined to bed for several days, with aches and pains throughout their bodies, which are worse in their backs and legs.

Symptoms of influenza

Fever and chills
Nasal congestion
Runny nose
Sore throat
Muscle pains
Irritated, watering eyes
Reddened eyes, skin (especially face), mouth, throat and nose
Petechial rash
In children, gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain (may be severe in children with influenza B)

It can be difficult to distinguish between the common cold and influenza in the early stages of these infections. Influenza symptoms are a mixture of symptoms of common cold and pneumonia, body ache, headache, and fatigue. Diarrhea is not usually a symptom of influenza in adults, although it has been seen in some human cases of the H5N1 "bird flu" and can be a symptom in children. The symptoms most reliably seen in influenza are shown in the adjacent table.

The specific combination of fever and cough has been found to be the best predictor; diagnostic accuracy increases with a body temperature above 38 °C (100.4 °F).  Two decision analysis studies suggest that during local outbreaks of influenza, the prevalence will be over 70%.  Even in the absence of a local outbreak, diagnosis may be justified in the elderly during the influenza season as long as the prevalence is over 15%.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains an up-to-date summary of available laboratory tests.[36] According to the CDC, rapid diagnostic tests have a sensitivity of 50–75% and specificity of 90–95% when compared with viral culture.

Occasionally, influenza can cause severe illness including primary viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. The obvious symptom is trouble breathing. In addition, if a child (or presumably an adult) seems to be getting better and then relapses with a high fever, that is a danger sign since this relapse can be bacterial pneumonia.

Sometimes, influenza may have abnormal presentations, like confusion in the elderly and a sepsis-like syndrome in the young.

Emergency warning signs

Shortness of breath
Chest pain
Extreme vomiting
Flu symptoms that improve but then relapse with a high fever and severe cough (can be bacterial pneumonia)
High fever and a rash.
Inability to drink fluids

Signs of dehydration

(in infants) Far fewer wet diapers than usual
(in infants) No tears when crying.

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These are 6 of the main differences between flu and coronavirus


The World Health Organization has released a report outlining the differences between the flu and coronavirus.

There are some obvious similarities: 

They both spread by contact. Touching a contaminated person or surface and then touching your face is a surefire way to get sick. (It is also possible that Covid-19 can be spread via droplets in the air from an infected person’s cough or sneeze.)

Many of the symptoms are similar: They both target the respiratory system, and in varying ways. Both cause fevers, tiredness and coughing. Severe respiratory cases can become pneumonia, which can kill. 

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak.  You can also sign up to our dedicated newsletter.

Here are six differences between coronavirus and the flu:

— Coronavirus appears to spread more slowly than the flu. This is probably the biggest difference between the two. The flu has a shorter incubation period (the time it takes for an infected person to show symptoms) and a shorter serial interval (or the time between successive cases). Coronavirus’s serial interval is around five to six days, while flu’s gap between cases is more like three days, the WHO says. So flu still spreads more quickly.

— Shedding: Viral shedding is what happens when a virus has infected a host, has reproduced, and is now being released into the environment. It is what makes a patient infectious. Some people start shedding the coronavirus within two days of contracting it, and before they show symptoms, although this probably isn’t the main way it is spreading, the WHO says. (However, one non-peer-reviewed article this week also suggests that coronavirus patients are shedding huge amounts of the virus in these early stages, when they have either no symptoms or just mild ones.) The flu virus typically sheds in the first two days after symptoms start, and this can last for up to a week. But a study in the Lancet this week, which looked at patients in China, showed that survivors were still shedding the coronavirus for around 20 days (or until death). One was still shedding at 37 days, while the shortest time detected was eight days. This suggests coronavirus patients remain contagious for much longer than those with flu.

— Secondary infections. As if contracting coronavirus wasn’t bad enough, it leads to about two more secondary infections on average. The flu can sometimes cause a secondary infection, usually pneumonia, but it’s rare for a flu patient to get two infections after the flu. The WHO warned that context is key (someone who contracts coronavirus might already have been fighting another condition, for example).

— Don’t blame snotty kids—adults are passing coronavirus around. While kids are the primary culprits for flu transmission, this coronavirus seems to be passed between adults. That also means adults are getting hit hardest—especially those who are older and have underlying medical conditions. Experts are baffled as to why kids seem protected from the worst effects of the coronavirus, according to the Washington Post. Some say they might already have some immunity from other versions of the coronavirus that appear in the common cold; another theory is that kids’ immune systems are always on high alert and might simply be faster than adults’ in battling Covid-19.

— Coronavirus is far deadlier than the flu. Thus far, the mortality rate for coronavirus (the number of reported cases divided by the number of deaths) is around 3% to 4%, although it’s likely to be lower because many cases have not yet been reported. The flu’s rate is 0.1%. 

— There is no cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. Not yet, anyway, although work is under way. There is, however, a flu vaccine—and everyone should get it, not least because being vaccinated could help lessen the load on overstretched medical services in the coming weeks.

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Personal Note ~ People are recovering.  According to the Worldometer, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/, as of writing this, the following are live numbers:

Coronavirus Cases







Currently Infected Patients
53,330 (90%)
in Mild Condition

5,923 (10%)
Serious or Critical

Cases which had an outcome:
68,898 (93%)
Recovered / Discharged

4,949 (7%)

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"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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Marburg is more survivable than Ebola Zaire and other strains.  

I guess some strains of Influenza are more survivable than otehrs

And certainly some strains of coronavirus are more survivable than this one, though this one is survivable for  the young, and young adults, and the healthy.

"I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen"

W. H. Auden
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Elders (Admins)

I've removed the previous post in this topic, it's a few steps away from basically just scaremongering.

It's not necessary to copy and paste full page content from external third party websites, an excerpt and link to website is often all that is necessary. Making the entire post content bold text (please, stop this!), telling everyone in the post to share it and then doing the same in our live chatbox is unnecessary and unwarranted.

It's good to have a Corvid pandemic discussion and to be able to share experiences and see how things vary and how people are coming together around the world during this time of separation, but It's also important that we pause before posting to take a moment to consider the content; is it from a reputable source such as the WHO or news outlet or a trashy tabloid, is it likely accurate, or is it from a friend of a friend that happens to work somewhere in the know. , The internet is so rife with fake claims, misleading information and the constant blight of click bait that we do our bit to avoid making it any worse, especially during this very difficult time for everyone.

The BBC, out of interest, picked up on this situation in the last week or so, the lack of fact checking, false social media reports etc, pointing out the need to avoid sharing and pushing fake news and speculation for the sake of it. The latest conspiracy nonsense is that the virus is being spread by 5G cell towers, so the tin foil hat brigade are now setting them alight, potentially putting vulnerable people who need medical assistance at further risk.

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On page 1 of this  topic, my post is in bold type.  That's  how it ended up  when I did the copy and paste.  It wasn't that bold on the original page.  If that's the  scaremongering you are referring to,  you missed  a spot.  You might want to check  that one and remove it as well.  I considered the source reputable, it's a medical school, and a fine one.   However the link I posted goes back to linked in now.  I find that odd.  Anyway, Just making sure you get it all.  UCSF powers that be, removed the original  document from the internet already/  Apparently it was mistakenly published.


"The document in question contained notes taken at a private panel discussion on COVID-19 held on March 10, which featured a group of expert speakers from UCSF and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. However, UCSF was not a sponsor of this event, and these notes were not reviewed, either for accuracy or for potentially important context, by the participating scientists."



"I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen"

W. H. Auden
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  • Elders (Admins)

Hi @seesthru Thanks for the follow up on that, no problem, I've removed that post. Actually no it was another post completely that I was referring to.

Handy tip! When you copy and paste from another website, you can paste it as plain text rather than formatted text (with colours, text, font-sizes etc), which is often useful because the styles and formatting on one site are often different. Our posting editor will offer to convert formatted content to plain text for you with a little message at the bottom, but you can also strip out any formatting at any time by highlighting the content or part of it and using the very last editor button that looks like a Tx.


To be honest, I'm not actually sure what this topic was intended to be. A copy and paste comparison of 3 diseases, Marburg, Flu and Covid-19 from the title. The stats are essentially meaningless as they are outdated within 24 hours but it doesn't make a lot of sense as Marburg is a completely different type of disease altogether with totally different symptoms.
Fortunately people suffering from this awful strain of coronavirus won't have to endure their organs liquidating, won't be covered in pustules, sweating blood etc associated with haemorrhagic Ebola and Marburg. Colds, flu and cornaviruses are respiratory diseases.

I think in hindsight, we'll close this topic down and we can start some separate topics to share and discuss experiences and developments.


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