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Marburg Virus: GHS Confirms Two Cases In Ghana



Marburg Virus: GHS Confirms Two Cases In Ghana

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has officially confirmed two cases of a deadly infectious Marburg virus likened to Ebola, after two people who later died tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tests were conducted back in July 10 in Ghana, but the results had to be verified by a laboratory in Senegal for the cases to be considered confirmed.

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“Further testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal has corroborated the results,” Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in a statement on Sunday.

GHS is working to reduce any risk of the virus spreading, including the isolation of all identified contacts, none of whom has developed any symptoms so far, it said.

The first case was a 26-year-old male who checked into a hospital on June 26 and died on June 27. The second was a 51-year-old male who went to the hospital on June 28 and died the same day, the WHO said, adding that both men sought treatment at the same hospital.

The two patients in southern Ghana’s Ashanti region had symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting, before dying in hospital, the WHO said.

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“[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.

This is only the second outbreak of Marburg in West Africa. The first case of the virus in the region was detected last year in Guinea, with no further cases identified.

There have been a dozen major Marburg outbreaks since 1967, mostly in Southern and Eastern Africa.

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