The World Health Organization has declared the first outbreak of Ebola-like Marburg virus disease in Ghana after laboratories confirmed infections in two cases announced earlier this month.
- The virus was detected in two men aged 26 and 51 who died after seeking treatment late last month.
- No more cases have been detected since the first two
- More than 90 contacts, including health workers and community members, have been identified and are being monitored.
The disease, an infectious haemorrhagic fever in the same family as Ebola, is spread to people by fruit bats and spread between people through direct contact with bodily fluids from people and infected surfaces, the WHO said.
A preliminary analysis of samples from two patients from the Ashanti region of southern Ghana, both deceased and unrelated, was positive but was sent for full confirmation to the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal.
The UN health agency’s laboratory corroborated the results from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana, the WHO said in a statement on Sunday.
The first case was a 26-year-old man who was admitted to a hospital on June 26 and died on June 27.
The second was a 51-year-old man who went to hospital on June 28 and died the same day, the WHO said, adding that both men sought treatment at the same hospital.
“Health authorities have responded quickly, anticipating preparation for a possible outbreak,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti.
“WHO is on the ground supporting health authorities and now that the outbreak has been declared, we are marshalling more resources for the response.”