Ghana Declares End To Marburg Virus Outbreak

Ghana has declared an end to the Marburg virus outbreak two months after the disease was confirmed in the country.

The Ministry of Health in the country disclosed this last Friday after no new case was reported in the past 42 days, or two incubation periods.

According to the Ghanaian authorities, there were three confirmed cases, including two deaths which were recorded when the outbreak was declared on 7 July 2022, following laboratory confirmation of the virus which affected the country’s Ashanti, Savannah and Western regions.

A total of 198 contacts were identified, monitored and completed their recommended initial 21 days observation period, which was later extended for another 21 days by the Ghanaian health authorities.

Marburg is a highly infectious disease in the same family as Ebola and has a high fatality rate of between 24 percent and 88 percent.

The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the body fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials. Illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise. Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic signs within seven days, W.H.O explained.

The genomic sequence analyses of the Marburg virus by Senegal’s Institute Pasteur and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana, suggested that this latest outbreak was related to the case reported in Guinea in 2021. However, further investigations are needed to fully understand the origin of the outbreak, which may be due to a shared animal reservoir or population movements between the two countries.

W.H.O said it was supporting the health authorities to carry out ecological studies to increase understanding of the disease and help anticipate and prevent future outbreaks.

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