Ghana declares end to Marburg virus outbreak: WHO

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Ghana has declared the end of a Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed nearly two months ago and caused two deaths, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

The made the announcement after no new cases of the Ebola-like disease were reported over the previous 42 days, the WHO said in a statement.

No vaccine treatment exists for Marburg, which is almost as deadly as Ebola. Symptoms included high fever as well as internal and external bleeding.

"In total three confirmed cases, including two deaths, were recorded in the outbreak declared on 7 July 2022 after laboratory confirmation of the virus," the WHO said.

Ghana's cases were the first detected in West Africa.

There have been previous outbreaks and sporadic cases other parts of Africa—in Angola, DR Congo, Guinea, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

"Any of Marburg is a major concern," said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

"Despite having no previous experience with the disease, Ghana's response has been rapid and robust."

The WHO said it was working with Ghana's health authorities to maintain surveillance, improve detection of the virus and better prepare for a potential resurgence.

The viral illness hits sufferers suddenly, triggering a high fever and severe headaches. Patients can develop unstoppable bleeding within days.

Fatality rates in confirmed cases have ranged from 24 percent to 88 percent in previous outbreaks, depending on the virus strain and case management, according to the WHO.

© 2022 AFP

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