Ghana records third Marburg virus death – Report

A third person, a child in Ghana has died of the highly infectious Marburg virus, a Reuters report Tuesday August 2, 2022 said, quoting a World Health Organisation (WHO) official.

The death of the child which is two of the second cases reported in Ghana by the WHO, brings to three the number of deaths from the Marburg virus since Ghana reported the first two cases of the virus in the country in July. Ghana is the second country in West Africa to report the disease after Guinea.

The gender or age of the child hasn’t been revealed, but the child and the other person infected are related to one of the index cases, according to the WHO official.

“Last week I mentioned the two additional cases. One is the wife of the index case and the other one is the child of the index case and the child unfortunately died, but the wife is still alive and improving,” Ibrahima Soce Fall a medical doctor with the WHO told reporters.

The WHO says the Marburg virus is a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever that affects both humans and primates and fruit bats are natural hosts of the virus.

The virus is transmitted to people from animals and spreads among humans through human-to-human transmission from direct contact with body fluids, blood and other discharges from the affected person or animal, it said.

The symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting, before dying.

The incubation period for the disease is two to twenty-one days and its treatment is suggestive, the Ghana Health Service has added.

It said the disease could be prevented by avoiding exposure to mines or caves inhabited by fruit bat colonies and all animal products such as blood and meat should be thoroughly cooked before consumption since there is currently no vaccine available.

More than 100 contacts of the index cases have been quarantined.

By Emmanuel K Dogbevi
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