WHO ON MARBURG VIRUS
The world health organisation africa regional director moeti matshidiso has confirmed the outbreak of Marburg virus disease in Guinea.
The confirmation was made in a press release while applauding Guinea health workers for their alertness and quick investigative action.
This is the first time Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease that causes hemorrhagic fever has been identified in Guinea and in West Africa.
Marburg, which is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola, was detected less than two months after Guinea declared an end to an Ebola outbreak that erupted earlier this year. Samples taken from a now-deceased patient and tested by a field laboratory in Gueckedou as well as Guinea’s national haemorrhagic fever laboratory turned out positive for the Marburg virus. Further analysis by the Institut Pasteur in Senegal confirmed the result.
The WHO regional director says the Marburg virus has potential to spread far .
She stated that the WHO is working closing with Guinea health authorities to implement a swift response that builds on guineas past experience and expertise in managing ebola which is transmitted in a similar way.
Marburg virus is transmitted to humans from fruit bats. Like Ebola, which comes from the same family of viruses, it is spread between people via direct contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces or materials.
WHO says Efforts are underway to find the people who may have been in contact with the patient.