Spain says the patient does not have Marburg’s disease

MADRID (Reuters) – A man in Spain initially suspected of having the deadly Marburg disease tested negative on Saturday and did not have the virus, the health ministry said.

Health authorities in Valencia said earlier that they had detected the country’s first suspected case of the infectious disease that has led to the quarantine of more than 200 people in Equatorial Guinea.

The 34-year-old man, who had recently been to Equatorial Guinea, had since been given everything safe, but would be tested again in the coming weeks, officials said.

He had been transferred from a private hospital to an isolation unit at Hospital La Fe in Valencia while tests were being carried out, the Valencian regional health authorities said.

Three health workers treating the man were also isolated as a precaution, authorities said.

According to the World Health Organization, the Marburg virus can have a mortality rate of up to 88%. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat it.

Equatorial Guinea quarantined more than 200 people on February 13 and restricted movement in Kie-Ntem province, where the hemorrhagic fever was first detected.

The small Central African country has so far reported nine deaths and 16 suspected cases of the disease, with symptoms including fever, fatigue, blood-stained vomit and diarrhoea, the WHO said.

Cameroonian authorities detected two suspected cases of Marburg’s disease in Olamze, a municipality on the border with Equatorial Guinea, on Feb. 13, the public health deputy for the region, Robert Mathurin Bidjang, said on Feb. 14.

Cameroon had restricted traffic along the border to prevent contamination.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley, editing by Mark Potter and Andrew Heavens)

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