Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Marburg virus: One more person dies; 40 quarantined in Savannah Region

40 people have been quarantined in the Savannah Region after one more person died of a suspected case of the Marburg virus.

The patient who died last Thursday was a relative of one of the two people who died from the virus in June.

The two people died days apart after reporting to the hospital with haemorrhagic fever.

The Ghana Health Service says the deceased showed symptoms of the Marburg virus days after the stipulated incubation period.

Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye says initial tests done came out positive.

“Unfortunately, one close contact reported symptoms after the maximum 21-day incubation period and died on July 21. These are very close relatives, so we have taken samples, and we are following up on them. Their initial test came out positive because of their close contact, and we have identified additional 40 contacts where the incident occurred, so we are still monitoring.”

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has appealed to the public to volunteer information to health authorities as the country fights to contain the Marburg virus.

Speaking to Citi News, the General Secretary of the Association, Dr. Titus Beyuo, says fighting the virus is a collective action, and efforts by all will help bring the menace under control.

“Locally, the contact tracing has been efficient. They’ve identified most of the people. We want to use this opportunity to appeal to other people who may be connected to this case to volunteer information so that the contact tracing can be completed.”

“We are not sure of the primary source of this infection. So, because of these unanswered questions, we would ask that persons who have symptoms of fever, bleeding, bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from any part of the body other than that which is already known and expected to report to the healthcare system so that we can quickly contain the situation.”

A team of experts from the World Health Organisation is expected to be deployed to Ghana over the next couple of days to provide coordination, risk assessment, and infection prevention measures in support of ongoing investigations into the latest outbreak of the Marburg virus.

The Marburg Virus Disease is a rare but severe haemorrhagic fever that affects both humans and non-human primates.

In 2021, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) directed all its regional offices to be on high alert for the Marburg virus after an outbreak of the disease was recorded in neighbouring West African country, Guinea.

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