WHO Sounds Alert After 2 Dead Due to Marburg Virus

Story Highlights
  • 2 dead in Ghana after being infected with Marburg virus.
  • WHO raised high alert.
  • The Marburg virus is an highly contagious virus similar in properties to Ebola.

The WHO on Thursday confirmed two deaths in Ghana after being infected with the Marburg virus- a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola. According to health experts, the death rate among those infected with the “highly contagious” virus can range from 24 to 88 per cent. 

The two deaths were reported from Ghana’s southern Ashanti area. After testing their samples, a virus laboratory in Senegal confirmed the presence of the deadly virus. According to doctors, those infected with this virus have various symptoms including fever, vomiting, and headache.

“It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease. Two large outbreaks that occurred simultaneously in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1967, led to the initial recognition of the disease. The outbreak was associated with laboratory work using African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda. Subsequently, outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa (in a person with recent travel history to Zimbabwe) and Uganda. In 2008, two independent cases were reported in travellers who visited a cave inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies in Uganda,” the top health body said on its website.

The prevalence was confirmed by the Ghana Health Service in a statement saying “the disease was suspected following the identification of two persons who met the case definition for an Acute Hemorrhage Fever in two locations in the Asanti Region.”

Currently, all 34 who came in contact with the two infected are quarantined and being monitored, the local health agency added.

The virus was first identified in South and East African countries about five and half decades ago.

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