Ghana has announced its first outbreak of the Marburg virus disease.
Marburg is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever in the same family as the Ebola virus disease. The symptoms of Marburg include diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.
The World Health Organization has confirmed the test results taken from two unrelated people in Ghana’s southern Ashanti region who have since died.
WHO says it is monitoring more than 90 people who had been in touch with the two.
“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. WHO is on the ground supporting health authorities and now that the outbreak is declared, we are marshalling more resources for the response,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
This is the second time Marburg has made a West African appearance. The first outbreak was in Guinea last year in September.
Marburg has also appeared in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for Marburg, but WHO says “supportive care – rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids – and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival.”