One of World's Deadliest Viruses Is in Ghana for First Time

2 people died last month of Marburg virus
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2022 1:29 AM CDT
One of World's Deadliest Viruses Is in Ghana for First Time
A medical worker from the Infection Prevention and Control unit wearing full protective equipment prepares to enter an isolation tent housing a man quarantined after coming into contact in Uganda with a carrier of the Marburg Virus at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, Oct. 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Ghana has reported its first cases of Marburg virus, an Ebola-like illness that has been named as one of the world's deadliest viruses. The hemorrhagic fever has been confirmed via multiple laboratory tests after the two unrelated patients died at the end of last month, both of them within a day or less of their hospitalizations. Now 98 people who came in contact with those two people are quarantined, the BBC reports. This is just the second time Marburg has shown up in west Africa; there was also one case in Guinea last year. Case fatality rates have ranged from 24% to 88% with this virus, compared to 25% to 90% with Ebola, ABC News reports.

Like Ebola, symptoms of Marburg, for which there are currently no treatments or vaccines, include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and hemorrhaging; keeping patients hydrated and treating specific symptoms can improve their chances of survival. Fruit bats transmit the virus to humans, and from there it can be transmitted to other humans via contact with bodily fluids. In one of the worst Marburg outbreaks, more than 200 people died in Angola between 2004 and 2005. Cases outside Africa are "infrequent," per the Washington Post. "WHO is on the ground supporting health authorities and now that the outbreak is declared, we are marshalling more resources for the response," a WHO official says. (More Marburg virus stories.)

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