Two Marburg Virus Cases Detected in Ghana

Ghana announced preliminary findings of the first two cases of Marburg virus disease, a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever in the same family as the Ebola virus disease. 

According to a WHO report, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana confirmed the cases were positive for Marburg, however, samples of the preliminary analysis were sent to a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre, the Institut Pasteur in Senegal, for further confirmation. 

The two positive cases are patients from the southern Ashanti region who showed symptoms like diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting.  

“The health authorities are on the ground, investigating the situation and preparing for possible outbreak response. We are working closely with the country to ramp up detection, track contacts, and be ready to control the spread of the virus,” WHO Representative in Ghana Dr. Francis Kasolo said. 

WHO said it deployed experts to support Ghana’s health authorities by bolstering disease surveillance, testing, tracing contacts, treatment, alerting and educating communities about the risks and dangers of the disease, and collaborating with the emergency response teams. 

Previous outbreaks and sporadic cases of Marburg in Africa were reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda. 

“Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces, and materials. Illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise,” WHO reported. 

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