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First cases of virulent Marburg virus detected in Ghana

First cases of virulent Marburg virus detected in Ghana


Two cases of Marburg virus disease, a hemorrhagic fever almost as deadly as Ebola, have been recorded in Ghana, the first ever in the country, health authorities said on Sunday. 

On July 8, blood samples from two people taken in the Ashanti region (south) suggested the Marburg virus and the samples had been sent to the Pasteur Institute in Dakar (IDP) for confirmation, the Health Service said. (GHS).

“Additional tests carried out at IDP, Senegal, have corroborated the results,” Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, chief executive of GHS, said in a statement on Sunday.

“This is the first time that Ghana has confirmed (the presence of) the Marburg virus,” he said.

The 98 people identified as contact cases are currently in quarantine, the statement added, adding that no other case from Marburg has yet been detected among them.

Health authorities say they are doing everything to “protect the health of the population”, calling for cooperation “from all” so that the virus is “contained effectively”.

Marburg virus disease is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with bodily fluids of infected people, or with surfaces and materials, according to the World Health Organization. de la Santé (WHO).

WHO announced in September 2021 the end of the first episode of the Marburg virus in West Africa, 42 days after the identification of a single case in Guinea.

Sporadic outbreaks and cases had previously been reported elsewhere in Africa, including South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The disease begins suddenly, with high fever, intense headaches and possible malaise. Case fatality rates have ranged from 24% to 88% in previous outbreaks, depending on virus strain and case management, according to the WHO.

Although there is no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat the virus, oral or intravenous rehydration, and treatment of specific symptoms improve survival rates.

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