Guinea confirmed a case of Marburg virus disease, the World Health Organization has said, the first taped in West Africa of the virus that relates to Ebola and, like COVID-19, passed from animal hosts to humans.
The infection, which is brought by bats and has a casualty rate of approximately 88 percent, was found in samples taken from a client who passed away on August 2 in southern Gueckedou prefecture, the WHO said late on Monday.
” The potential for the Marburg infection to spread out far and broad ways we require to stop it in its tracks,” stated Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO local director for Africa.
The discovery came simply 2 months after the WHO declared an end to Guineas second break out of Ebola, which began last year and killed 12 individuals.
In Geneva, the WHO stated it considered the threat “high” at the national and local level, however “low” worldwide.
” We are dealing with the health authorities to carry out a swift reaction that builds on Guineas previous experience and proficiency in managing Ebola, which is transferred in a similar method,” Moeti stated.
The Guinean federal government verified the Marburg case in a statement.
The Marburg virus is usually associated with exposure to caverns or mines housing colonies of Rousettus bats. When caught by a human, it is spread through contact with bodily fluids of contaminated individuals, or with polluted products and surfaces, according to the WHO.
“We praise the alertness and the fast investigative action by Guineas health employees,” Moeti said.
The case was discovered in a town in a forested region near the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The mans symptoms dated back to July 25, the WHO said.
After being dealt with at first at a local clinic and tested for malaria, the patient died “in the community”, the WHO stated.
Post-mortem samples then tested negative for Ebola, however favorable for Marburg.
10 WHO experts, including epidemiologists and socio-anthropologists, are already in the field to support nationwide health authorities.
The emergency response consists of danger assessment, disease monitoring, community mobilisation and screening, medical care, infection control and logistical support, WHO said.
Cross-border security has also been stepped up so that possible cases can be quickly spotted, it said.
Three family members of the departed and a health care worker have been determined as high-risk close contacts and are being kept an eye on, while investigations are under method to identify the source of the infection and any other possible contacts, the WHO stated.
Sporadic cases and previous outbreaks have been reported in South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This is the first time the virus has been discovered in West Africa.
The illness starts all of a sudden, with a high fever, extreme headache and discomfort.
Casualty rates have ranged from 24 percent to 88 percent in previous break outs, depending on the infection pressure and case management, the WHO said.
There are no authorized vaccines or antiviral treatments, intravenous or oral rehydration and treatment of specific signs enhance survival rates, it said.