WHO says Guinea is monitoring 155 contacts after confirming the Marburg case


Health officials in Guinea are monitoring 155 people who may have come into contact with confirmed cases of Marburg virus disease, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, according to a World Health Organization official.

The Marburg case, which WHO said was the first in West Africa, was confirmed in Gueckedou, southeastern Guinea. The region is the origin of the most deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, with a temporary resurgence of Ebola this year.

Georges Ki-Zerbo, Guinea’s WHO Country Head, said Marburg circulated animals, especially bats, in Sierra Leone and Liberia, which border southern Guinea.

Pathogens tended to pass from animals to humans in the area due to their close interaction, especially in the hunting and diet of “bushmeat” from the wild.

“There are no known secondary cases … contacts have been tracked and 155 people have been monitored for 3 weeks,” Ki-Zerbo said in an interview.

“This is active surveillance. Contacts are kept at home and isolated from other members of the family. They are visited daily to check for potential symptoms.”

Marburg and Ebola are closely related, and human-to-human transmission is usually through contact with blood and other body fluids.

Guinea was declared free of Ebola two months after the outbreak that killed 12 people.

Case fatality rates in Marburg in past outbreaks range from 24% to 88% of infected individuals.

However, Guinea said Guinea is more prepared to deal with the outbreak than it was in 2014. The discovery of the Marburg case also showed an increase in the ability to detect such infections.

“Guinea has built a robust health security system since the last outbreak of Ebola in 2014-2016,” he said, using swift response teams, disease detectives, epidemiologists and anthropologists. , And pointed out better coordination with neighboring countries.

“Globally, the approach to fighting Marburg will be no different than Ebola,” he said. “The only difference is that there are no vaccines or drugs specifically directed to the virus. Only symptomatic treatments are available.”

Bait Felix and Christoph van der Pele