Marburg virus kills 2 in Ghana: What you need to know about the virus

On July 7, 2022, Ghana recorded two suspected cases of the Marburg virus. It was also confirmed in Senegal on July 17.

The first two patients known to have contracted in the Ashanti Region have died, and 98 persons who came into contact with the infected persons have been quarantined by the Ghana Health Service.

Factcheck Ghana has put together quick facts about the virus and its prevention methods.

What is Marburg

The Marburg disease is in the same family as the Ebola disease. The disease was first discovered in Germany in 1967, where seven people died.

In August 2021, the Republic of Guinea became the first country in West Africa to record the disease.

Risk of exposure

The virus is transmitted to people through fruit bats, exposure to their urine or excretion.

Non-human primates infected with the virus can also transmit the disease.

Ways of Transmission

It spreads among humans through the transmission of bodily fluids of an infected person.

It can also be transmitted through objects contaminated with the body fluids of an infected person

The virus can remain in certain body fluids such as the semen for up to seven weeks even if they no longer have symptoms. There is, however, no evidence that the Marburg virus can spread through sexual intercourse or contact with the vaginal fluids of a woman who has had the disease.

Marburg virus Symptoms

The incubation period for the Marburg disease is from 2-21days.

The virus, according to the American Centre for Disease Control, is characterized by chills, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, sore throat, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

Symptoms may become severe after some time with delirium, shock, liver failure, jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, massive hemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction occurring.

Many of the symptoms are similar to that of diseases such as malaria or fever.

 What to do when symptoms present

You are required to visit the nearest health facility for medical attention and treatment.

What should you do to prevent contracting the virus?

Avoid fruit bats and sick non-human primates

Avoid physical contact with an infected person.

Thoroughly cook meat before consumption.

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