Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Guinea confirms first case of Marburg virus in West Africa

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Guinea has detected the case of the highly infectious Marburg virus becoming the first country in West Africa to confirm the virus.

The virus which causes high fever falls under the same category as Ebola and was detected from a patient who now deceased in Gueckedou following lab tests conducted in Guinea and another one in Senegal.

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Investigations into the virus began when a team of specialized doctors were called in following worsening symptoms from the patient.

World Health Organization (WHO) has applauded the efforts of the health workers to act swiftly and raise an alarm as they now embark of ways to track it and to stop any further spread of the virus.

“We applaud the alertness and the quick investigative action by Guinea’s health workers. The potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means we need to stop it in its tracks,” Said WHO Region Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

Gueckedou, the area where the virus has been found is the same place where the 2021 Ebola cases in the country have been recorded and also the 2014-2016 cases of the Ebola virus were confirmed.

Contact tracing is currently underway as health officials begin public awareness on the symptoms and dangers of the Marburg virus. A team of experts including epidemiologists and social-anthropologists is already on the ground to access the situation.

Cross boarder examination has also been established with health officials now alerting neighbouring countries on the dangers of the virus and how best to fight it.

According to experts, Marburg virus spreads through fruit bats and severe haemorrhagic signs including high temperature is visible within the first seven days of infection.

The fatality rate is between 24-88% depending on the strain of the virus even though no vaccine or treatment is available at the moment.

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