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August, 19

Ghana Announces First Outbreak Of Infectious Marburg Virus

Health authorities in Ghana have now formally confirmed two cases of the highly contagious disease following a result of two patients testing positive for the Marburg virus earlier this month who later died.

The World Health Organization stated that tests performed in Ghana returned positive results on July 10, but that the cases needed to be confirmed by a laboratory in Senegal (WHO).

“Further testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal has corroborated the results,” Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in a statement on Sunday.

GHS said it is taking precautions to lessen the possibility of the virus spreading, including isolating all individuals who have been identified even though so far none of them have shown any symptoms.

A 26-year-old man who entered a hospital on June 26 and passed away on June 27 was the first case. The second patient, a 51-year-old man, was treated at the same hospital on June 28 and passed away that same day, according to the WHO.

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Before passing away at the hospital, the two patients in southern Ghana’s Ashanti area displayed symptoms like diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, according to the WHO.

“[Ghanaian] health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak. This is good because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

In West Africa, this is only the second Marburg outbreak. Guinea reported the first viral case in the area last year, and no other cases have been found.

Since 1967, there have been twelve significant Marburg outbreaks, primarily in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Depending on the virus type and case care, mortality rates in previous outbreaks ranged from 24 to 88 percent, according to the WHO.

According to the WHO, Marburg is transferred among people by direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals, infected surfaces, and infected products. Marburg is transmitted to humans from fruit bats.

Although there is currently no cure for Marburg, experts suggest that addressing some of the symptoms and drinking water can increase survival rates.

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Adoga Stephen
Adoga Stephen is a trained journalist, researcher, creative writer and freelancer. He studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (then Laspotech) and acquired requisite skills for the practice of journalism, a profession he has been practicing since 2016.

Health authorities in Ghana have now formally confirmed two cases of the highly contagious disease following a result of two patients testing positive for the Marburg virus earlier this month who later died.

The World Health Organization stated that tests performed in Ghana returned positive results on July 10, but that the cases needed to be confirmed by a laboratory in Senegal (WHO).

“Further testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal has corroborated the results,” Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in a statement on Sunday.

GHS said it is taking precautions to lessen the possibility of the virus spreading, including isolating all individuals who have been identified even though so far none of them have shown any symptoms.

A 26-year-old man who entered a hospital on June 26 and passed away on June 27 was the first case. The second patient, a 51-year-old man, was treated at the same hospital on June 28 and passed away that same day, according to the WHO.

READ MORE: Imran Khan Calls For Early Elections After Punjab Victory

Before passing away at the hospital, the two patients in southern Ghana’s Ashanti area displayed symptoms like diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, according to the WHO.

“[Ghanaian] health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak. This is good because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

In West Africa, this is only the second Marburg outbreak. Guinea reported the first viral case in the area last year, and no other cases have been found.

Since 1967, there have been twelve significant Marburg outbreaks, primarily in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Depending on the virus type and case care, mortality rates in previous outbreaks ranged from 24 to 88 percent, according to the WHO.

According to the WHO, Marburg is transferred among people by direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals, infected surfaces, and infected products. Marburg is transmitted to humans from fruit bats.

Although there is currently no cure for Marburg, experts suggest that addressing some of the symptoms and drinking water can increase survival rates.

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