(CMR) The Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, has been confirmed in Ghana after two people who died tested positive for the virus earlier this month.
Reuters reported that tests conducted in Ghana came back positive on July 10, but the results had to be verified by a laboratory in Senegal for the cases to be considered confirmed.
Reports out of Ghana are that the two patients in the southern Ashanti region both had symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting before dying in hospital.
This would be the second outbreak of Marburg in West Africa after the first ever case of the virus was detected last year in Guinea; however, no other cases were identified.
“Preparations for a possible outbreak response are being set up swiftly as further investigations are underway,” the World Health Organization said.
The WHO reported that people who have caught the virus in a previous outbreak had a 24% to 88% chance of dying from it, depending on the strain and the care they had access to. There is no vaccine or treatment for the virus; however, supportive care, which includes rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids, and treatment of specific symptoms, improves a patient's chance of survival,
Marburg virus disease is a zoonotic disease, which means it can pass from animals to humans. Human-to-human transmission can also occur through bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces, and materials, according to the WHO.