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What’s Marburg virus and the way does it spread?


Ghana has confirmed two cases of the Marburgvirus, a highly infectious disease much like Ebola.

The 2 people tested positive for the virus, before later dying, but the outcomes have now been verified by a laboratory in Senegal, in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A complete of 98 people at the moment are under quarantine rules as suspected contact cases, Ghanaian health officials said.

It is barely the second outbreak of Marburg in west Africa. The primary case of the virus within the region was detected last 12 months in Guinea, with no further cases identified.

What’s Marburg virus?

It’s a hemorrhagic fever virus from the identical family because the virus that causes Ebola.

The virus might be transmitted by exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies, which carry the pathogen.

Once an individual is infected, Marburg can spread through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of those individuals, and with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids. It isn’t an airborne disease.

On average, the virus kills half those infected, says the World Health Organisation, but probably the most harmful strains have killed as much as 88 per cent, making it considered one of the deadliest pathogens on the planet.

Marburg virus was first described in 1967, after being discovered that 12 months during a set of outbreaks within the German cities of Marburg and Frankfurt and the Yugoslav capital Belgrade.

Since then, outbreaks have been reported in Kenya, South, Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. A 2005 outbreak in Angola killed greater than 300 people. Just one person in Europe has died of the disease previously 40 years.

Symptoms and illness

The incubation period for Marburg virus disease – how long it takes before symptoms emerge – varies from 2 to 21 days.

Nonetheless, illness begins “abruptly”, in line with the WHO, with a high fever, severe headache and malaise. Muscle aches and cramping pains are also common features.

In Ghana, the 2 unrelated individuals who died experienced symptoms reminiscent of diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting. One case was a 26-year-old man who checked right into a hospital on 26 June and died a day later. The second was a 51-year-old man who went to a hospital on 28 June and died the identical day, the WHO said.

In fatal cases, death normally occurs between eight and nine days after the onset of the disease.

Treating and stopping Marburg virus disease

There are not any antiviral treatments or vaccines for the infection. Nonetheless, a variety of medication and immune therapies are being developed.

A patient’s probabilities of survival may also be improved by keeping them hydrated with oral or intravenous fluids and maintaining oxygen levels.

Gavi, a global organisation promoting vaccine access, says that individuals in Africa should avoid eating or handling bushmeat. Doctors and families must also watch out when coping with the body of an infected individual, as they will remain contagious after death.

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