The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the death of two people in Ghana who have died as a result of the Marburg virus. Preliminary findings by the Ghana Health Service have revealed that both individuals came across the case of Acute Haemorrhagic Fever in two different locations in Ashanti Region.
Both patients from the Ashanti Region began displaying symptoms of the virus including diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Ghana Health Officials had proceeded to send blood samples to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for testing, but the preliminary results tested positive for the Marburg virus. This led authorities to send the samples to Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal for further testing. 34 individuals who came in contact with the two suspected cases have been quarantined.
Health officials have stated that they were yet to find any new cases for more than two weeks since the first samples were taken from the deceased persons, two weeks ago.
Marburg Virus Disease is a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever that affects both humans and non-human primates. It spreads from infected persons or animals through direct contact with body fluids, blood, and other discharges from the infected person or animal.
Experts have disclosed that the incubation period for the disease is between two (2) to twenty-one (21) days.
Despite the nature of the virus, there is yet no vaccine to stop its spread.
Symptoms of the virus:
Ghana Health Service has said that usual possible cases may look like:
• Bloody diarrhea
• Bleeding gums
• Bleeding into the skin
• Bleeding into the eyes
• Bloody urine.
In 2021, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) advised its regional offices to be on high alert for the Marburg virus after the outbreak of the disease hit West African neighbor, Guinea. The general public has been asked to look out for any symptoms of the virus and to report the cases to the nearest health facility.
This is Ghana’s first time recording the Marburg virus case.