Ghana confirms first cases of deadly Marburg virus

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No treatment yet exists for Marburg – but doctors say drinking plenty of water and treating specific symptoms improves a patient’s chances of survival…reports Asian Lite News

Ghana has confirmed the country’s first two cases of Marburg virus disease (MVD), the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has said.

The confirmation came after samples from suspected infected individuals sent to the Institute Pasteur in Dakar (IPD) tested positive for MVD, the GHS in a statement late Sunday.

The GHS first announced the suspected infections on July 7, after identifying two persons who had met the case definition of acute hemorrhagic fever in Ghana’s Ashanti Region.

The samples from the individuals tested positive for MVD at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Xinhua news agency reported quoting the GHS.

With assistance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the samples were forwarded to the IPD for further confirmation.

“So far, 98 contacts have been identified, including those from the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Savannah Region,” the GHS statement said. “They are undergoing quarantine and being monitored by the Ashanti and Savannah regional health directorates of the GHS.”



“No new cases of MVD have been identified,” the statement said.

The MVD, a rare but severe hemorrhaging fever, is caused by the Marburg virus and could lead to death.

No treatment yet exists for Marburg – but doctors say drinking plenty of water and treating specific symptoms improves a patient’s chances of survival, the BBC reported.

The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads between humans through the transmission of bodily fluids.

It is a severe, often fatal illness with symptoms including headache, fever, muscle pains, vomiting blood and bleeding.

Officials are warning people to keep away from caves and to thoroughly cook all meat products before consuming them.

The disease previously occurred in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya, according to the WHO.

The virus killed more than 200 people in Angola in 2005, the deadliest outbreak on record according to the global health body.

The first ever Marburg outbreak was in Germany in 1967 where seven people died.

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