VENEZUELA — Two potential cases of the Ebola-like Marburg virus disease have been reported by Ghana, according to the World Health Organization. If confirmed, these cases would be the first of their kind to occur in the West African nation.
According to the WHO, the illness, a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever that belongs to the same family as Ebola, is transmitted to humans by fruit bats and among people by direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected individuals and surfaces.
Marburg has the potential to be very dangerous and fatal: In previous outbreaks, case fatality rates have ranged from 24 to 88 percent.
Despite the fact that samples from two deceased patients from Ghana’s southern Ashanti region were sent to the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, which collaborates with the U.N. health agency, for full confirmation, preliminary analysis of the samples revealed a positive result, according to WHO.
According to a statement from WHO, the two patients were brought to a nearby hospital with symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
As more investigations are conducted, “preparations for a potential outbreak response are being set up swiftly,” the WHO stated, adding that it is sending experts to Ghana to assist with health authorities there.
After Guinea confirmed a single case discovered in August, WHO stated that if the cases are confirmed as Marburg, it would be the second time the disease has been detected in West Africa. After more than five weeks, the outbreak in Guinea was officially declared.
According to the WHO, previous Marburg outbreaks and lone cases have been reported in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.