Marburg virus: With an 88% mortality rate, this highly contagious disease can be fatal

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the first outbreak in Ghana of a disease caused by the Marburg virus, which is similar to Ebola, after laboratories confirmed the diseases in two cases reported earlier this month. According to the WHO, the disease, a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever that belongs to the same family as Ebola, is transmitted to humans by direct contact with bodily fluids of infected individuals and surfaces between fruit bats and people.

Marburg has the potential to be highly dangerous and deadly: in previous outbreaks, the death rate ranged from 24% to 88%.

A 26-year-old man who entered the hospital on June 26 and died on June 27 was the first case. The second case involved a 51-year-old male patient, who entered the hospital on June 28 and died on the same day, according to the WHO, which also noted that both patients had sought care at the same hospital.

Samples from two unrelated, deceased patients from the southern Ashanti region of Ghana were found to be positive in preliminary investigations; Nevertheless, he was sent to the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, for further confirmation. Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research was supported by the laboratory of the United Nations Agency for Health, according to a statement issued by the WHO on Sunday. According to WHO, more than 90 contacts, including community members and health professionals, have been found and are being tracked.

“Health officials have responded rapidly, have begun to prepare for a potential outbreak,” said WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said. “This is good because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg could easily get out of hand. WHO is supporting health officials and now that the outbreak has been declared, we are marshalling more resources to respond “

The pandemic represents the second time the disease has been identified in West Africa, after a case was confirmed in Guinea in August. More than five weeks later, the outbreak was officially declared in Guinea. According to the WHO, there have been previous Marburg outbreaks and cases alone in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

(with agency input)

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