Two cases of the fatal Marburg virus have been identified and confirmed in Ghana.
Their samples, which returned positive in the beginning of this month, have also been verified by a laboratory in Senegal. Both the patients have reportedly died in a hospital in the southern Ashanti region. The highly infectious disease belongs to the same family as Ebola.
98 people who have been suspected of being in contact with the deceased are now under quarantine, revealed health officials in the West African nation. The said 98 people include relatives, medics and mortuary workers who were in contact with the patients in some form or other. This is not the first time that Marburg has been identified in West Africa, as there was a confirmed case in Guinea last year. But, that case was declared over in September. (just 5 weeks after it was delivered)
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Africa director, who knows that without proactive and instant action, Marburg can get out of hand; praised Ghana’s swift response.
Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said that there is a whole multi-disciplinary team on the field, trying to search for the actual source of this.
Teams are also being sent into communities to spread awareness about the symptoms. They shall further alert health authorities if any cases emerge.
Albeit no treatment exists for Marburg as of now, doctors recommend drinking lots of water and claim that treating specific symptoms improves a patient’s chances of survival.
The virus originates from fruit bat, and is transmitted to humans. Between humans, the spreading is done through transmission of bodily fluids.
Marburg is a lethal disease with symptoms such as vomiting blood, headache, fever, muscle pains, and bleeding.
Officials in Ghana are warning people to stay away from caves and cook all meat products carefully before consuming them.
Besides In West Africa, previous outbreaks and sporadic cases of Marburg have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, WHO reveals.
The deadliest outbreak was in 2005, when the virus killed more than 200 people in Angola in 2005.
The first ever Marburg outbreak was in Germany in 1967 where seven people died.