Ghana has confirmed its first two cases of the highly infectious Marburg virus disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday in a statement. Two have already died of the illness.
The announcement comes after two unrelated patients from the southern Ashanti region of Ghana, both of whom later died, tested positive for the virus. Marburg is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever in the same family as the better-known Ebola virus disease and has a fatality ratio of up to 88%, according to WHO. “Illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache, and malaise,” it stated.
The patients had shown symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, the WHO said, adding that more than 90 contacts are being monitored. Unlike the COVID-19 scamdemic, this disease is one that should be concerning.
The Marburg virus is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and can then be spread human to human through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people or surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids, WHO explained.
The global health body said containment measures were being put in place and that more resources would be deployed in response to the outbreak in Ghana. WHO also warned that “without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand.” -CNN
Other than symptom management and dehydration, there is nothing that can be done for those who come down with the Marburg virus. The Ghana Health Service has urged the Ghanaian public to avoid mines and caves occupied by fruit bats and to thoroughly cook all meat products before consumption, to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Fruit bats are natural hosts of the Marburg virus, the health service said.
Ghana Confirms Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) pic.twitter.com/WFGvwJkgfP
— Ghana Health Service Official (@_GHSofficial) July 17, 2022
Previous outbreaks have been reported in Uganda, Kenya, Angola, South Africa, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Angola outbreak in 2005 was the most deadly of the outbreaks, with more than 200 people dead from the virus. According to WHO, countries at higher risk of a resurgence of the virus have been contacted “and they are on alert.”
Hemorrhagic diseases carry a much higher rate of mortality than others. They should be watched closely and avoided at all costs. Other diseases that are similar are Ebola, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. There have also been reports of “mysterious” hemorrhagic diseases in recent months.