The World Health organization (WHO) convened an urgent meeting on Tuesday to discuss an outbreak of the deadly Marbug virus in Africa.
Equatorial Guinea announced its first outbreak of the virus Monday.
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The WHO gathered ‘experts’ from around the world together to discuss how to ramp up the development of vaccines for the virus which currently has no cure
They plan to evaluate several possible vaccine candidates after nine deaths and 16 suspected cases were reported.
Experts fear that the world could be caught off guard by the currently untreatable virus that kills up to 88 percent of the people it infects.
The MailOnline reports: The virus, considered a more dangerous cousin of Ebola, has killed nine people in Equatorial Guinea in the Central African nation’s first outbreak. More than a dozen others are believed to be infected.
The highly-infectious pathogen – which causes some sufferers to bleed from their eyes – has been touted as the next big pandemic threat, with the WHO describing it as ‘epidemic-prone’.
Members of the Marburg virus vaccine consortium (MARVAC) said it could take months for effective vaccines and therapeutics to become available, as manufacturers would need to gather materials and perform trials.
They hope the virus – which spreads by prolonged physical contact – will be contained and controlled before it causes a larger outbreak.
But the outbreak in Equatorial Guinea comes just months after Ghana reported its first outbreak, which marked only the second time the disease had been detected in West Africa.