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Ghana confirms its first two cases of Marburg virus, a highly infectious Ebola-like disease

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According to the Ghana Health Service, there are 98 people currently in quarantine for suspected contact with the virus, although no detected other specific cases of infection in the country.

Health authorities in Ghana confirmed this Sunday their first two cases of people infected with the Marburg virus, which causes a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, local media reported.

The diagnosis was confirmed by the Pasteur Institute of Senegal, a collaborating center of the World Health Organization (WHO). “This is the first time that Ghana has confirmed Marburg virus,” Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said in a statement.

On July 9, the WHO had reported the detection of two suspected cases of the disease in the African country. And although the initial analysis of the samples had already been positive, they were sent to the Senegalese laboratory to be analyzed again.

According to the GHS, there are 98 people currently in quarantine for suspected contact with the virus, although no other specific cases of infection have been detected in the country.

Marburg virus is transmitted to people by fruit bats and is spread among humans through direct contact with bodily fluids from infected people, surfaces, and materials. The disease begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise, and many patients develop severe bleeding signs in seven days.

The rates of Case fatalities have ranged from 24% to 88% in previous outbreaks, depending on virus strain and case management. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or antiviral treatments to counteract the virus, but supportive care, such as rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids, and treatment of specific symptoms contribute to survival.

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