International News

First Cases of Deadly Marburg Virus Discovered in Ghana

Ghana has officially confirmed two cases of the Marburg Virus, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, its health officials reported on Sunday, after two people who later died tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

The cases from the Ashanti Region are the first to be recorded in Ghana, Health officials in the West African nation say 98 people are now under quarantine as suspected contact cases.

The virus is transmitted to people through fruit bats and spreads between humans through the transmission of bodily fruits.

According to the WHO the illness is often abrupt, severe and fatal with symptoms like headache, fever, muscle pains, vomiting blood, and bleeding.

In fatal cases death usually occurs between eight and nine days after onset of the disease and is then preceded by severe blood loss and hemorrhaging, and multi organ dysfunction.

The WHO said this week it is supporting a “joint national investigative team” in Ghana and deploying its own experts to the country. It is also sending personal protective equipment, bolstering disease surveillance and tracing contacts in response to the handful of cases.

By Vivian Moraa

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