Dakar-Ghana has officially confirmed two cases of Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, the health service said on Sunday.
According to the World Health Organization, the test conducted in Ghana returned positive on July 10, but the results had to be verified at a Senegalese laboratory before the case could be considered confirmed.
“Further testing at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal confirmed the results,” the Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in a statement.
The GHS is working to reduce the risk of the virus spreading, including quarantining all identified contacts, but no one has ever had symptoms.
This is the second outbreak of Marburg in West Africa. The first case of the virus in the area was detected in Guinea last year, but no more cases have been identified.
“Health authorities (in Ghana) have responded swiftly and made a good start in preparation for a possible outbreak. Without swift and decisive action, Marburg could easily get out of hand. So this is a good thing, “said Machidi Somoeti, Director of the WHO Africa Region.
Two patients in the Ashanti region of southern Ghana had symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting before they died in the hospital.
Since 1967, there have been 12 Marburg outbreaks, primarily in southern and eastern Africa. According to WHO, past outbreaks have varied mortality from 24% to 88%, depending on the virus strain and case management.
According to WHO, bats infect humans and infect humans through direct contact with the infected person’s body fluids, surfaces, and substances.