Ghana has revealed the preliminary discovery of two instances of Marburg virus sickness, which, if confirmed, would be the country’s first such infections.
Marburg fever is a highly contagious viral hemorrhagic fever that belongs to the same virus family as the more well-known Ebola virus illness.
Preliminary investigation of samples collected from two patients by the country’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research revealed that the cases were Marburg positive. The samples, however, were forwarded to the Institut Pasteur in Senegal, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre, for confirmation. The two individuals from the southern Ashanti area had symptoms like as diarrhoea, fever, nausea, and vomiting. They were both deceased and unconnected. They were brought to an Ashanti area district hospital.
As more investigations are conducted, plans for a possible epidemic response are being put in place.
“On the ground, health officials are analyzing the issue and planning for an epidemic reaction.” “We are collaborating closely with the government to increase detection, trace contacts, and be prepared to restrict the virus’s spread,” said Dr Francis Kasolo, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Ghana.
WHO is deploying experts to assist Ghana’s health authorities in strengthening disease surveillance, testing, tracing contacts, preparing to treat patients, and working with communities to alert and educate them about the disease’s risks and dangers, as well as collaborating with emergency response teams.
If verified, the cases in Ghana would represent the second detection of Marburg in West Africa. Guinea reported a single case in an outbreak that was notified over five weeks after the original case was discovered on September 16, 2021.
Previous Marburg outbreaks and isolated cases have been documented in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.
Marburg is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and spreads through direct contact with infected people’s body fluids, surfaces, and items. The illness strikes suddenly, with a high temperature, severe headache, and malaise. Within seven days, many individuals have severe hemorrhagic symptoms. In previous epidemics, patient mortality rates ranged from 24% to 88 percent, depending on viral strain and case care.
Although there are no licensed vaccinations or antiviral therapies for the virus, supportive care, such as rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of particular symptoms, increases survival. A variety of possible treatments are being considered, including blood products, immunological therapy, and pharmacological therapies.