What do we know about the Marburg virus that killed two men in Ghana?

What do we know about the Marburg virus that killed two men in Ghana?

The bat will be queen in the Fête de la Nature
Marburg virus disease is transmitted to humans by bats and spreads between humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people (illustration © Pixabay)

health authorities in Ghana It officially confirmed that two people who died at the beginning of July 2022 were affected by Marburg virushighly contagious hemorrhagic fever, similar to Ebola.

Case 1: A 26-year-old man presented to hospital on June 26 and died the next day. The second was a 51-year-old man who presented to hospital on June 28 and died on the same day, according to the World Health Organization.

These two patients, unrelated, had symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.

‘Marburg virus could easily get out of control’

“Health authorities reacted quickly, and started preparing for a possible outbreak. This is a good thing because without immediate and decisive action, Marburg could easily spiral out of control,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, commented in a statement.

Nearly 100 contact cases have been placed in quarantine. The World Health Organization has been in contact with neighboring countries who are on alert and will send a team of experts “to ensure coordination and assessment of risks and measures to prevent infection.”

What do we know about this virus?

The medical history of Marburg virus begins in the laboratory in Europe. It was discovered for the first time In 1967at one time in Germany, in the city Marburg As well as in Frankfurt, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and Belgrade.

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lab workers They were infected after coming into contact with monkeys from Uganda. 29 people fell ill in Germany, and seven died. The patients were initially laboratory staff, then the infection spread to members of the medical staff who treated the first patients, as well as to their families.

So these are the African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) imported from Uganda and which was the source of human infection in the first Marburg outbreak.

Very present in Africa

These two viruses, Marburg and Ebola, both belong to the family Filoviridae (filamentous virus). Although they are caused by different viruses, these two diseases are Clinically similar. They have the potential to cause epidemics with high death rates.

This is the first time Ghana has confirmed the presence of the Marburg virus. The World Health Organization declared in September 2021 the end of the first episode of Marburg virus in West Africa, 42 days after a single case was identified in Guinea.

Sporadic outbreaks and cases have been reported in the past elsewhere in Africa, including South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 128 people died as a result of this in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998 and 329 in Angola in 2005.

How is Marburg virus transmitted?

Marburg virus disease is transmitted to humans by bat Frugivores, which is a natural host of this virus, is circulating in the human race Through direct contact with the body fluids of the infectedor with surfaces and materials, according to the World Health Organization.

Thus, one can become infected through broken skin or mucous membranes with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons, and by bedding, clothing, etc.

What are the symptoms and how to treat it?

The disease begins suddenly with High temperatureSevere headache and malaise. Case-fatality rates have ranged from 24% to 88% in previous outbreaks, depending on the strain of the virus and the management of the case, according to the World Health Organization. Many patients show signs of heavy bleeding within seven days.

Although there are no files There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat the virus, supportive care Rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids and treatment of certain symptoms, improves survival.

According to the World Health Organization, a range of potential treatments are being evaluated, including blood products, immunotherapies, and drug therapies.

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