Ghana records first outbreak of new deadly virus, Marburg

Ghana records first outbreak of new deadly virus, Marburg

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed the first outbreak of the highly infectious Marburg virus disease in the country.

In a statement on Sunday, GHS disclosed that two deaths have been recorded, while at least 98 contacts have been traced and quarantined.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) described Marburg as “a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic fever in the same family as the more well-known Ebola virus disease”.

Confirming the outbreak in a statement, the WHO revealed that the two persons confirmed to have died after contracting the Marburg virus, had reported at the same hospital.

According to the statement, the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, received samples from each of the two patients from the southern Ashanti region of Ghana – both deceased and unrelated – who showed symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting.

After testing the samples, the laboratory corroborated the results from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, which suggested their illness was due to the Marburg virus.

“One case was a 26-year-old male who checked into a hospital on 26 June 2022 and died on 27 June. The second case was a 51-year-old male who reported to the hospital on 28 June and died on the same day. Both cases sought treatment at the same hospital within days of each other,” it said.

The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said the Ghanaian health authorities have responded swiftly to the outbreak.

“This is good because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand,” he was quoted to have said.

The outbreak makes Ghana the second country in West Africa to confirm the Marburg virus. The first case was reported in Guinea in August 2021.

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