The deadly cave. A cave in Kenya, believed to be the source of Ebola, could cause the next pandemic

Kitum Cave, located in Kenya's Mount Elgon National Park, became famous because between 1980 and 1987 visitors to the cave contracted the Marburg virus, a deadly virus very similar to Ebola. Specialists believe that this cave could cause the next pandemic.

Kitum Cave. PHOTO

The cave and the Marburg virus became famous when they appeared in the best-seller “The Hot Zone”. It is believed that bats in the cave may be carriers of the virus and could spread this fatal disease.

According to, this cave is home to some of the most dangerous viruses that are deadly, such as Ebola and Marburg.

The walls of the cavern are covered with scratches and marks that appear to be caused by miners looking for precious stones or gold. However, it turned out that the elephants were behind the markings on the wall in an attempt to eat the salt off the walls.

The place has also proven to be home to some of the most dangerous viruses known to man.

Kitum Cave.  PHOTO

Kitum Cave. PHOTO

A French engineer working at a nearby sugar refinery came into contact with the Marburg virus in 1980 while exploring Kitum Cave and died quickly at a hospital in Nairobi.

A book on the case characterized the man's rapid deterioration from viral hemorrhagic or bleeding fever “as if the face were coming off the skull”, with the connective tissue on the face dissolving and the face appearing to hang from the bone below.

Seven years later, a Danish schoolboy on holiday with his family became the next victim of Kitum Cave.

In a recent study, experts warned that this cave will be the origin of the next pandemic. The revelation has health experts worried that the Marburg virus could cause the next big outbreak, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued a warning, saying the Marburg virus is “prone to epidemics”.

What is Marburg virus infection

Marburg is a disease marked by bleeding and disruption of body functions. It can kill up to 88% of infected people.

In 2021, the authorities in Guinea confirmed the first death in West Africa caused by the Marburg virus, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), cited by The Guardian.

This is the first time the disease has been identified in West Africa. In the last 50 years, 12 large outbreaks of Marburg have been recorded, most of them being located in East and South Africa. The last major outbreak was in Angola in 2005, and 200 people died after becoming infected, according to Digi 24.

Marburg epidemics start when an infected animal, such as a monkey or a bat, transmits the virus to a human. The virus then spreads from person to person through contact with the body fluids of those who are sick.

Symptoms include headache, muscle pain, vomiting blood and bleeding.