Ghana records 2 suspected cases of Marburg virus disease

The Ghana Health Service has confirmed the presence of two suspected cases of Marburg virus disease in Ghana.

It said the cases were found in the Ashanti Region.

“The disease was suspected following the identification of two persons who met the case definition for an Acute Haemorrhagic Fever in two different locations in the Ashanti Region. Blood samples were sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Preliminary results suggest the infection is due to the Marburg virus,” a statement from the health authority said.

According to the Ghana Health Service, no new cases have been reported; however, 34 contacts linked to the initial two cases have been traced and are currently under quarantine.

“The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate with support from the Ghana Health Service Headquarters is currently conducting further investigations on the cases and contacts,” it said.

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

It is caused by the Marburg virus. It is transmitted by infected persons or animals from direct contact with body fluids, blood and other discharges from the affected person/animal. The incubation period for the disease is two (2) to twenty-one (21) days. Treatment is symptomatic. There is currently no vaccine available.

Prospective cases may present with fever, bloody diarrhoea, bleeding from gums, bleeding into the skin, bleeding into eyes and, bloody urine.

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 neighboring West African country, Guinea.