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Ghana Confirms Early Cases of Deadly Marburg Virus

Author: Iqra Zafar
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Ghana health officials confirmed the first two cases of deadly Marburg virus disease (MVD) where none of the two disease sufferers survived.

Health officials from Ghana have recently confirmed the emergence of the Marburg virus in its locality. The confirmation was made after two of the victims were reported dead in a hospital located in the southern Ashanti region. Marburg virus is a deadly and highly infectious virus that belongs to the family of the Ebola virus.

The presence of the virus was confirmed earlier this month after samples from suspected patients were analyzed at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

After these fatalities, health officials said that they also suspect 98 other people to be positive for the Marburg virus. These people are either relatives or medical health workers who came into contact with the patients who died earlier due to the disease. Hence, to control the spread of disease all these 98 people are quarantined for now.

 

Marburg virus has been detected in West Africa for the second time. Last year, there was one confirmed disease case in Guinea. Fortunately, it didn’t turn into an outbreak. After five weeks, health officials declared that the situation was normal as no further cases were reported. The deadliest outbreak of the Marburg virus was reported in 2005 after the virus killed 200 people in Angola.

Marburg virus is a highly infectious, deadly virus. This virus is easily transmittable among patients through body fluids and via fruit bats. Common disease symptoms include headache, fever, body pains, bleeding, blood vomits etc. The disease is fatal and there is no available cure yet. Controlling the spread of the Marburg virus and treating the symptoms is the only way to treat and prevent the disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is appreciative of the swift response of the local health authorities. "This is good because, without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Africa director.