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Ghana declares end of Marburg virus disease outbreak

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  Ghana today declared the end of the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed almost two months ago It was the first time the highly infectious hemorrhagic fever had been detected in the West African country Ghana s Ministry of Health made the statement after no new cases were reported in the past 42 days or two incubation periods the time between infection and the onset of symptoms In total three confirmed cases including two deaths were reported in the outbreak declared on July 7 2022 after laboratory confirmation of the virus that affected the Ashanti Savannah and Western regions of the country A total of 198 contacts were identified monitored and completed their initial recommended observation period of 21 days which was later extended for a further 21 days out of an abundance of caution by Ghanaian health authorities Health authorities with the support of the World Health Organization WHO and other health partners rapidly implemented outbreak control measures intensified disease surveillance testing contact tracing clinical care in addition to raise public awareness and work with communities to support disease prevention efforts Marburg is a highly infectious disease in the same family as Ebola and has a high mortality rate of between 24 and 88 Marburg is a scary disease as it is highly infectious and deadly There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments Any outbreak from Marburg is a huge concern said Dr Matshidiso Moeti WHO Regional Director for Africa Despite having no prior experience with the disease Ghana s response has been swift and robust Lives have been saved and people s health protected thanks to an effective disease detection system that helped to quickly identify the virus and enabled a rapid response to stop the spread of infection The Marburg outbreak in Ghana was the second of its kind in West Africa Guinea reported a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021 In Africa previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kenya South Africa and Uganda Genomic sequence analyzes of Marburg virus by the Institut Pasteur in Senegal and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana suggest that this latest outbreak is related to the case reported in Guinea in 2021 However more research is needed to fully understand the origin of the virus outbreak which may be due to a shared animal reservoir or population movements between the two countries WHO is supporting health authorities in carrying out ecological studies to increase understanding of the disease and help anticipate and prevent future outbreaks A resurgence of Marburg may occur and WHO is working with Ghanaian health authorities to maintain surveillance and improve detection and response to a possible outbreak of the virus Marburg is transmitted to people by fruit bats and spreads between humans through direct contact with bodily fluids from infected people surfaces and materials The illness begins abruptly with a high fever severe headache and general malaise Many patients develop severe bleeding signs within seven days
Ghana declares end of Marburg virus disease outbreak

1 Ghana today declared the end of the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed almost two months ago.

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2 It was the first time the highly infectious hemorrhagic fever had been detected in the West African country.

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3 Ghana’s Ministry of Health made the statement after no new cases were reported in the past 42 days, or two incubation periods, the time between infection and the onset of symptoms.

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4 In total, three confirmed cases, including two deaths, were reported in the outbreak declared on July 7, 2022 after laboratory confirmation of the virus that affected the Ashanti, Savannah and Western regions of the country.

5 A total of 198 contacts were identified, monitored and completed their initial recommended observation period of 21 days, which was later extended for a further 21 days out of an abundance of caution by Ghanaian health authorities.

6 Health authorities, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health partners, rapidly implemented outbreak control measures, intensified disease surveillance, testing, contact tracing, clinical care, in addition to raise public awareness and work with communities to support disease prevention efforts.

7 Marburg is a highly infectious disease in the same family as Ebola and has a high mortality rate of between 24% and 88%.

8 “Marburg is a scary disease as it is highly infectious and deadly.

9 There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments.

10 Any outbreak from Marburg is a huge concern,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

11 “Despite having no prior experience with the disease, Ghana’s response has been swift and robust.

12 Lives have been saved and people’s health protected thanks to an effective disease detection system that helped to quickly identify the virus and enabled a rapid response to stop the spread of infection.”

13 The Marburg outbreak in Ghana was the second of its kind in West Africa.

14 Guinea reported a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021.

15 In Africa, previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda.

16 Genomic sequence analyzes of Marburg virus by the Institut Pasteur in Senegal and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Ghana suggest that this latest outbreak is related to the case reported in Guinea in 2021.

17 However, more research is needed to fully understand the origin of the virus.

18 outbreak, which may be due to a shared animal reservoir or population movements between the two countries.

19 WHO is supporting health authorities in carrying out ecological studies to increase understanding of the disease and help anticipate and prevent future outbreaks.

20 A resurgence of Marburg may occur and WHO is working with Ghanaian health authorities to maintain surveillance and improve detection and response to a possible outbreak of the virus.

21 Marburg is transmitted to people by fruit bats and spreads between humans through direct contact with bodily fluids from infected people, surfaces, and materials.

22 The illness begins abruptly, with a high fever, severe headache, and general malaise.

23 Many patients develop severe bleeding signs within seven days.

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