Ghana declares outbreak of Marburg, a virus as deadly as Ebola
Two cases have been confirmed in the country.
On Sunday, Ghana announced the country’s first outbreak of the Marburg virus disease, after a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre laboratory confirmed earlier results.
The Marburg virus - having a close resemblance to the Ebola disease - has infested itself in 2 cases in Ghana, according to health authorities in the country on Sunday.
Earlier in July, blood samples were taken from 2 people in the Ashanti region in the south, which led to the announcement. The samples were then sent to the Pasteur Institute in Senegal then confirming the diagnosis of the Marburg virus, according to Ghana Health Service.
"This is the first time Ghana has confirmed Marburg Virus Disease," said GHS Head Patrick Kuma-Aboagye in a statement.
There is no existing treatment for the Marburg virus, which is almost as deadly as Ebola. Symptoms include high fever and internal and external bleeding.
98 people, who are "contact cases", as in they have had contact with the patients, are currently in quarantine, according to the GHS statement. No other cases of the virus have been detected in the country yet.
In September 2021, the World Health Organization confirmed that Guinea had a single case of the virus. Previous outbreaks have been reported in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.
The Marburg virus can spread from infected animals.
"The public is therefore advised to avoid caves inhabited by bat colonies and to cook all meat products 'thoroughly' before consumption," the Ghanaian health authorities advised.
The illness hits victims very suddenly, causing high fever and painfully severe headaches.
Fatality rates range from 24% to 88% depending on the virus strain and case management, according to the WHO.