New Delhi: As the world battles with Covid-19 and the rapidly spreading monkeypox, another virus may become a cause of concern – Marburg virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Ghana’s first outbreak of Marburg virus after two infected patients died of the disease last month. The first case was a 26-year-old male who checked into a hospital on June 26 and died on June 27. The second was a 51-year-old male who went to the hospital on June 28 and died the same day, WHO said, adding that both men sought treatment at the same hospital.
What is Marburg virus?
The Marburg virus is a is a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever which can infect humans and animals both. According to WHO, it has a case fatality ration of up to 88 percent but can be lower with good care and treatment.
What are symptoms of Marburg virus?
The Marburg virus, when contracted by a person, shows itself in abrupt symptoms. Patients can experience:
- High fever
- Severe headache
- Muscle ache and pains
- Watery diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Extreme lethargy
- bleeding (fatal cases)
- Blood in vomit, faeces (fatal cases)
How does Marburg virus spread?
Marburg virus spreads through direct contact between humans. This means that it can spread through broken skin or mucous membranes. Blood, secretions and other bodily fluids of infected people left on surfaces and materials can infect other people.
Is there a vaccine for Marburg virus?
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or antiviral treatments for the Marburg Virus Disease. The only way to treat the disease is by rehydration with oral or other fluids.
A certain kind of bats commonly known as fruit bats are known to be carrying the virus. African green monkeys imported from Uganda were the source of infection for humans during the first Marburg outbreak.