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Dr. Eleonora SchönherrPresse- & ÖffentlichkeitsarbeitPhone: +49 40 42818-269
Mail: presse(at)bnitm.de

Julia HäberleinPresse- & ÖffentlichkeitsarbeitPhone: +49 40 42818-264
Mail: presse(at)bnitm.de

Discovery of the Maridi Virus (Ebola-Sudan Virus)

Nzara, Sudan  (Today Republic of South Sudan) –  June 1976

End of June 1976, from Nzara in southern Sudan, close to the border of former Zaire, several cases of a fatal disease had been reported, which had also affected the staff of the regional hospital at Maridi. In August 1976, WHO had requested international help for the deserted hospital. Dr. Juergen Knobloch from BNITM went on his own and later reported that he had been the only doctor in the hospital for quite some time.

Delayed press report on the outbreak of a fatal haemorrhagic fever in southern Sudan.  Dr. Juergen Knobloch of BNITM had travelled to Maridi already in August. Apparently, his mission had not been reported or noticed.
Delayed press report on the outbreak of a fatal haemorrhagic fever in southern Sudan. Dr. Juergen Knobloch of BNITM had travelled to Maridi already in August. Apparently, his mission had not been reported or noticed.

By the end of November, the death toll had risen to 230, four of them in Khartoum, after patients had been transferred there. Juergen Knobloch took many autopsy samples. In a few of them, which reached Hamburg after an adventurous journey, a virus was identified with great similarity to the virus from the 1967 outbreak in Marburg. The BNITM scientists named it Maridi virus.