The Marburg virus, a fatal disease that is extremely contagious and belongs to the same virus family as the one that causes Ebola, has been confirmed in Ghana’s first two cases.
In a hospital in the southern Ashanti region, it is reported that both patients have passed away. Earlier this month, a lab in Senegal confirmed the results of their samples, which had previously come back positive.
98 persons are being quarantined as possible contact cases, according to health officials in the West African country.
Individuals who interacted with the two patients included friends, family members, medical professionals, and mortuary staff.
Marburg has been located in West Africa twice, most recently now. Last year, there was a single confirmed case in Guinea; nevertheless, the outbreak was deemed to be over in September.
Ghana’s health authorities are receiving support from the World Health Organization (WHO), which has applauded the nation for its quick action.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Africa head, stated, “This is good since Marburg may rapidly get out of hand if immediate and urgent action is not taken.”
Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, the director of Ghana’s health system, told BBC Focus on Africa radio that there was a large multidisciplinary team working to find the true cause of this.
To stop more deaths, stringent infection control procedures and contact tracing have been implemented.
Teams are also visiting neighbourhoods to educate residents about the symptoms and encourage them to notify the appropriate authorities if any suspected instances are discovered.
Although there is currently no cure for Marburg, doctors advise addressing certain symptoms and drinking lots of fluids to increase a patient’s chance of survival.
The virus enters humans through fruit bats and spreads between people through the exchange of body fluids. Those closest to the sick person, as well as hospital staff, are most at risk of contracting the infection.
It is a serious illness that frequently results in death and has symptoms like headache, fever, muscle cramps, vomiting blood, and bleeding. Ghanaian authorities are cautioning citizens to stay away from caves and to prepare all animal products to your preferred temperature before consuming.
The WHO reports that in addition to West Africa, isolated cases and past outbreaks have also been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.
According to the international health organization, Angola saw the bloodiest outbreak on record in 2005 when the virus claimed more than 200 lives.
Seven individuals perished in the first Marburg outbreak, which occurred in Germany in 1967.