(CTN News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Sunday that Ghana has confirmed its first two cases of the highly infectious Marburg virus Outbreaks disease.
It follows the detection of the virus in two unrelated patients from Ghana’s southern Ashanti region, who both died.
Marburg Virus Deadly symptoms
According to WHO, the patients showed Marburg Virus symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, and more than 90 contacts have been tracked.
Marburg is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever related to the more well-known Ebola virus disease with an 88% mortality rate. Symptoms include a high fever, headache, and malaise.
Humans can be infected with the Virus by direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people or surfaces and materials that have been contaminated with these fluids, according to WHO.
Several containment measures are being put in place and more resources will be deployed to combat the outbreak in Ghana, according to the global health body. The WHO has also warned that “Marburg could quickly spiral out of control without immediate and decisive action.”
There is no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for the Marburg virus.
WHO Warns Of Marburg Virus spreading
It is possible to improve a patient’s chances of survival by providing oral or intravenous rehydration and treating specific symptoms, according to WHO.
In order to reduce the risk of the Marburg Virus spreading, the Ghana Health Service has advised the public to avoid caves and mines inhabited by fruit bats. Marburg virus naturally infects fruit bats, according to the health service.
Ghana is only the second country in West Africa to have been affected by the virus after Guinea. In the Guinea outbreak, a patient also died from the Marburg Virus. There were no further cases confirmed by Guinean health authorities.
In other parts of Africa, previous outbreaks have been reported in Uganda, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Over 200 people were killed in the Angola outbreak in 2005.WHO says countries at higher risk of the Marburg Virus resurging have been contacted and are on alert.
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