– WHO confirms first case of Marburg virus in West Africa
The virus was found in a patient in southern Guinea who has since died. Neighboring countries were put on alert.
In West Africa, a high-risk Marburg virus infection was first detected. The World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, Machidiso Moeti, said on Monday that the case was detected in Guinea less than two months after the Ebola outbreak was declared in the country. Marburg virus, which can cause hemorrhagic fever, comes from the same family of pathogens as the Ebola virus.
Moeti said the Marburg virus has the potential to “spread widely.” So it must be stopped quickly.
According to the information, the virus was discovered in a patient who has since died in the Guékidou province in southern Guinea. A team of ten experts from the World Health Organization is already on site to support national health authorities with emergency measures and further testing of the population. Cross-border surveillance will also be intensified so that other possible cases can be identified quickly. Guinea’s neighbors have been put on alert.
According to the World Health Organization, Marburg virus is transmitted to humans by fruit bats. Human-to-human transmission occurs, among other things, through direct contact with an infected person’s body fluids, but also through surfaces. Symptoms of Marburg fever include a high fever and severe headache. According to the World Health Organization, the mortality rate ranges from 24 to 88 percent. Vaccines approved against Marburg virus do not exist yet.
Last year, there was an Ebola outbreak in Guinea, which the World Health Organization declared in mid-June. Twelve people have died in Guinea in connection with the Ebola outbreak.