- Two cases of the life-threatening Marburg fever have been discovered in Ghana for the first time.
- The Africa office of the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed the cases.
- This was after the Marburg virus was found in samples from the two patients from the Ashanti region in southern Ghana.
The detection was made in the Institut Pasteur in Dakar (Senegal). The two men, one 26, one 51, died in a hospital at the end of June. They had symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting. According to the authorities, they were infected independently of each other.
Ghana’s health authorities, with support from WHO, have increased surveillance. Around 90 people who were last in contact with the deceased have been contacted and the population is being informed about the symptoms and dangers.
Relationship to the Ebola virus
The Marburg virus bears the name of the German city because laboratory employees there became infected with the previously unknown virus in test monkeys in 1967. It is believed that the virus originated from flying foxes, which are related to bats.
People become infected through contact with body fluids of infected people. Depending on the treatment options, a quarter to 80 percent of those affected die. Guinea reported a case last year.