July 20, 2022

Ghana: First Cases of Deadly Marburg Virus Reported

Ghana has confirmed that two people have died from the Marburg virus.

On Sunday, 17 July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a statement announcing that results from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Accra confirmed that two patients from an unnamed hospital in the Ashanti region had tested positive for the Ebola-like disease.

The first patient was a 26-year-old man who had been admitted on 26 June and passed away the following day. The second patient was a 51-year-old man who was hospitalised on 28 June and died the same day. Both had suffered from diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting.

To effect containment, WHO is observing over 90 contact cases and quarantining these persons – including relatives, medics and mortuary workers – accordingly.

The virus is highly infectious and causes haemorrhaging fever – “Illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache, and malaise” – not unlike the Ebola virus, with a mortality rate between 24% and 88%.

No cure or treatment yet exists for the ailment. Ghanaian health officials have warned that the virus spreads through infected animals including bats, thus prompting the warning that the public avoid bat colonies and to correctly cook all bush meat before consumption.

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