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WHO to assist Ghana following confirmed Marburg cases

Published on 19/07/22 at 11:39am

WHO has announced that in the coming days it will deploy a team of experts to assist Ghana in tackling the outbreak of the Marburg virus disease in the country. This is following The Ghana Health Service (GHS) confirmation of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) following the testing of two cases recorded in the country at the Institute of Pasteur in Dakar, (IPD), Senegal.

This marks the first time the Ebola-like disease has been found in the west African nation.

No treatment or vaccine exists for Marburg, the symptoms of which include high fever as well as internal and external bleeding. The virus is almost as deadly as Ebola. 

In a statement issued 17 July, the GHS explained that the presence of the virus was confirmed: “Following the confirmation of the cases, contact tracing has been extended with the identification of more contacts being followed up for the maximum incubation of 21 days. A reasonable number of contacts have been followed up for 19 days with none developing any symptoms. In addition, thirteen (13) of the contacts were randomly selected and tested at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. All 13 contacts tested negative for Marburg Virus.” The statement was signed by the GHS Director-General, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye.

98 people identified as contact cases were under quarantine, the GHS statement added. The statement highlighted that no other cases had yet been reported in the country.

“Health authorities have responded swiftly, getting a head start preparing for a possible outbreak,” said the WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti. “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.”

Ana Ovey

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