On Monday, August 9th, the Guinean health authorities confirmed a death from the Marburg virus, a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, announced the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the first time the deadly disease has been identified in West Africa. Since 1967 there have been 12 major epidemics in Marburg, mainly in southern and eastern Africa.
“Marburg virus disease, which belongs to the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease, was discovered less than two months after Guinea declared the end of the Ebola epidemic that broke out earlier this year “The WHO Regional Office said in a statement. Guinea’s new case was first identified last week. The patient, who has since succumbed to the disease, first sought treatment at a local clinic before his condition deteriorated rapidly, according to a WHO statement.
Implement a quick response
Analysts from the Guinean National Hemorrhagic Fever Laboratory and the Pasteur Institute in Senegal then confirmed Marburg’s diagnosis. “The potential for Marburg virus to spread means we have to stop it,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in the statement. “We are working with health authorities to implement a rapid response that builds on Guinea’s experience and expertise in dealing with Ebola, which is similarly transmitted,” she said.
Symptoms of the virus
The Marburg case and this year’s Ebola cases were discovered in the Gueckedou district in Guinea near the border with Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The first cases of the Ebola epidemic (2014-2016), the largest in history, also came from the same forest region in southeastern Guinea. Symptoms of the virus include headache, vomiting blood, muscle pain, and bleeding through various openings.
Confirmation of the Marburg virus in #Guinea. The response requires a concerted effort to prevent transmission and protect communities. @ WHO colleagues have been on the ground with local partners since the first warnings appeared and will continue to provide all necessary support. https://t.co/rvP6cjWzl9
– Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) August 9, 2021 View comments