Ghana has announced its first outbreak of Marburg virus disease, after a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre laboratory confirmed earlier results.
The Institut Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal received samples from each of the two patients from the southern Ashanti region of Ghana – both deceased and unrelated – who showed symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
The laboratory corroborated the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research results, which suggested their illness was due to the Marburg virus.
One case was a 26-year-old male who checked into a hospital on 26 June 2022 and died on 27 June. The second case was a 51 -year-old male who reported to the hospital on 28 June and died on the same day. Both cases sought treatment at the same hospital within days of each other.
Marburg is a highly infectious viral haemorrhagic fever in the same family as the more well-known Ebola virus disease. It is only the second time the zoonotic disease has been detected in West Africa. Guinea confirmed a single case in an outbreak that was declared over on 16 September 2021, five weeks after the initial case was detected.
It was confirmed that previous outbreaks and sporadic cases of Marburg in Africa have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.