Ghana’s health ministry verified two instances of the Marburg virus, a highly contagious illness related to Ebola, on Sunday, after two patients tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

On July 10, tests in Ghana came back positive, but the findings needed to be validated by a laboratory in Senegal before the cases could be declared confirmed, according to the World Health Organization. more info

“Further testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal has corroborated the results,” claimed the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

GHS is striving to decrease the danger of the virus spreading, including isolating all known contacts, none of whom have experienced symptoms so far, according to the organization.

This is only the second Marburg outbreak in West Africa. The first instance of the virus in the area was discovered last year in Guinea, and no more cases have been reported.

“(Ghanaian) health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak. This is good because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg can easily get out of hand,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The two people died in hospital after experiencing symptoms such as diarrhoea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, according to the WHO.

Since 1967, there have been a dozen large Marburg outbreaks, the most of which have occurred in southern and eastern Africa. According to the WHO, mortality rates in previous epidemics ranged from 24 percent to 88 percent, depending on the virus type and case care.

According to the WHO, it is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and spreads among humans by direct contact with infected people’s body fluids, surfaces, and objects.

Source: Reuters

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