Ghana declares 1st ever outbreak of Ebola-like Marburg virus illness

Ghana declares 1st ever outbreak of Ebola-like Marburg virus illness

LONDON — Ghana on Sunday declared its first ever outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus illness.

Blood samples taken from two sufferers within the southern Ashanti area had been despatched for testing to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Analysis in Ghana’s capital, Accra, with preliminary outcomes suggesting earlier this month that their sickness was as a result of Marburg. With the help of the World Well being Group, the samples had been then despatched for additional testing to the Institut Pasteur in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, which finally corroborated the outcomes from Accra, the Ghana Well being Service stated in a press launch Sunday.

Marburg is a uncommon however extreme viral hemorrhagic fever, nearly as lethal because the extra well-known Ebola virus illness. Case fatality charges for Marburg have assorted from 24% to 88% in earlier outbreaks, whereas Ebola case fatality charges have assorted from 25% to 90%. In contrast to with Ebola, there are presently no authorised remedies or vaccines for Marburg, in line with the WHO.

“Well being authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head begin making ready for a potential outbreak. That is good as a result of with out rapid and decisive motion, Marburg can simply get out of hand,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, stated in an announcement Sunday. “WHO is on the bottom supporting well being authorities and now that the outbreak is asserted, we’re marshalling extra sources for the response.”

Ghana’s first case was a 26-year-old man who was hospitalized on June 26 and died the following day, officers stated. The second case was a 51-year-old man who sought remedy on the identical hospital on June 28 and died later that day. Each sufferers, who had been unrelated, skilled comparable signs, together with diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting, the WHO stated in a press launch Sunday.

Ghana declares 1st ever outbreak of Ebola-like Marburg virus illness

On this April 20, 2005 file picture a well being employee in protecting clothes carries waste for disposal outdoors the isolation ward the place victims of the lethal Marburg virus are handled within the northern Angolan city of Uige.

Mike Hutchings/Reuters, FILE

Thus far, 98 contacts have been recognized in Ashanti in addition to the northwestern Savannah area. They’re presently beneath quarantine and being monitored by well being authorities. No new circumstances have been detected, in line with the Ghana Well being Service.

The Marburg virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads person-to-person by direct contact with the bodily fluids of the contaminated people, surfaces and supplies. Sickness begins abruptly, with excessive fever, extreme headache and malaise. Many sufferers develop extreme haemorrhagic indicators inside seven days, in line with the WHO.

To cut back the danger of transmission, the Ghana Well being Service suggested folks to keep away from publicity to mines or caves inhabited by fruit bat colonies, to prepare dinner all animal merchandise totally earlier than consumption and to keep away from direct contact with anybody displaying signs.

It’s only the second time the extremely infectious, zoonotic illness has been detected in West Africa. Guinea confirmed a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021, 5 weeks after the preliminary case was detected. The biggest, most deadly Marburg outbreak on file contaminated and killed greater than 200 folks in Angola between 2004 and 2005, in line with the WHO. The worldwide well being arm of the United Nations famous that it has reached out to Ghana’s high-risk neighbors, who it stated at the moment are “on alert.”

West African nations know all too nicely what a lethal virus like Ebola can do to a area. The most important and deadliest Ebola outbreak on file contaminated greater than 28,000 folks and killed over 11,000 throughout a number of nations — primarily Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — between 2013 and 2016, in line with the WHO.

Though no remedy or vaccine exists for Marburg, supportive care — rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids — and remedy of particular signs each enhance a affected person’s probability of survival. A variety of potential remedies, together with blood merchandise, immune therapies and drug therapies, in addition to candidate vaccines with part 1 knowledge are beneath analysis, the WHO stated.

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