WHO Confirms Marburg Virus Disease in Guinea

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed one death from the Marburg virus, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola in Guinea.

A patient who died on August 2 in southern Gueckedou prefecture was tested by a local field laboratory as well as Guinea’s national hemorrhagic fever laboratory revealed that he died from the Marburg virus while the Institut Pasteur in Senegal confirmed the results.

The WHO said that the patient first sought treatment at a local clinic before his condition worsened until he died. 

“We applaud the alertness and the quick investigative action by Guinea’s health workers. The potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means we need to stop it in its tracks,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

There have been only 12 major Marburg outbreaks since 1967, mostly in southern and eastern Africa while the recent case is the first in the west while the Marburg case was identified just two months after Guinea became free of Ebola.

The WHO said that Marburg virus fatality rates have ranged from 24 percent to 88 percent in previous outbreaks and that there are no existing vaccines or antiviral treatments for it.

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