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Health alert! Marburg virus kills 2 in Ashanti region

The Ghana Health Service has asked all health workers, especially Regional and Teaching Hospitals to be on the lookout for the outbreak of the Marburg virus disease following two fatal cases in the Ashanti Region.

Health workers are to “exercise a high index of suspicion for persons who may present with bleeding tendencies”, a statement issued by the GHS, signed by its Director-General, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye counseled.

The cases were said to have been recorded in the Adansi North District of Ashanti, and while preliminary investigations have yet to establish a link between the two cases, 34 contacts have been identified and are under quarantine being monitored for the maximum incubation period of 21 days.

The statement said no new cases have been reported since the two samples were taken two weeks ago.

The World Health Organization categorises the Marburg virus disease as a highly virulent disease that causes haemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88%, and is in the same family as the virus that causes the Ebola virus disease.

“Human infection with Marburg virus disease initially results from prolonged exposure to mines or caves inhabited by Rousettus bat colonies. Once an individual is infected with the virus, Marburg can spread through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids,” according to the WHO.

 

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