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Friday, August 12, 2022

Ebola-like virus with 88% death rate may have hit Ghana – fever sparks ‘serious concern’ | Science | News

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday “preparations for a possible outbreak response are being set up swiftly as further investigations are underway”. In a statement, the WHO said preliminary assessment of samples from the two patients indicate the cases were positive for Marburg. However, it clarified those results must be confirmed by a laboratory in Senegal.

Marburg virus is a haemorrhagic fever considered to be extremely dangerous.

It is transmitted to humans by a species of fruit bats and between people via body fluids and broken skin.

Disease from the virus can cause bleeding (haemorrhage), fever, and other symptoms similar to Ebola, such as high fever, severe headache and malaise. Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic signs within seven days.

Case fatality rates have varied from 24 percent to 88 percent in past outbreaks.

The two patients from the southern Ashanti region were unrelated and they showed symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting.

WHO Representative in Ghana, Dr Francis Kasolo, said: “The health authorities are on the ground investigating the situation and preparing for a possible outbreak response.

“We are working closely with the country to ramp up detection, track contacts, be ready to control the spread of the virus.”

WHO said it is deploying experts to support Ghana’s health authorities by bolstering disease surveillance, testing, tracing contacts and preparing to treat patients.

The organisation is reportedly also working with communities to alert and educate about the risks and dangers of the disease and to collaborate with emergency response teams.

READ MORE: Covid: The symptom seen in 83% of patients – even in fully vaccinated

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