The first case of Marburg virus infection has been confirmed in the region in West Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that an infected man from Guinea had died.
The World Health Organization, in collaboration with Guinean agencies, is chasing time and searching for people who might come into contact with a patient from the city of Gueckedou who died as a result of infection with the Marburg virus.
The infection was reported in the same part of Guinea where the Ebola outbreak occurred in 2014-2016, killing at least 11,325 people. Another epidemic, to a much lesser degree, is occurring in the same area near Guinea’s border with Sierra Leone and Liberia early this year. This time 12 people died.
Marburg virus belongs to the same family as Ebola. “The possibility of Marburg virus spreading on a large scale means we have to keep it under control,” said Dr Matchidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Outbreaks caused by this virus begin when an infected animal, such as a map or bat, infects a person. The virus then spreads from person to person through contact with an infected person’s body fluids.
Marburg virus was first identified in 1967. The pathogen comes from the same viral family as Ebola, but there are no known vaccines or treatments for the infection.
The Marburg virus death rate has been 88% in previous outbreaks. But the World Health Organization states that this data varies according to the strain and the way infected people are treated.
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