Introduction

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Abstract

In 1967, in Marburg an der Lahn and Frankfurt am Main, Germany1, and in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), laboratory workers accepted shipments of African green monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) from Uganda. As they had done many times before with such animals, workers performed routine examinations for apparent ailments and then prepared tissue cultures from the monkeys’ kidneys for the development of poliomyelitis vaccines. A few days later, several workers were reported ill and were admitted to local hospitals. A total of 32 people fell sick with an apparently new disease, of which seven died. A hitherto unknown virus was isolated from patients and human tissues [2396] and called ‘Marburg virus’ (today Lake Victoria marburgvirus, MARV) [805]. Over the subsequent three decades, only individual MARV infections were recorded. In 1998, the virus reappeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and caused at least 128 deaths over a period of three years [270]. From the end of 2004 to November 2005, MARV caused an outbreak killing 227 people in Angola.

In this review, countries are designated according to their English conventional short name as listed in The World Fact Book [Online.] https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/ factbook/index.html [last accessed Sep. 1, 2007]. Names are used for simplicity of recognition and are not intended as political statements regarding the official recognition (or lack thereof) of a given country.