Home Health & Food Child infected with Marburg virus dies in Ghana –WHO

Child infected with Marburg virus dies in Ghana –WHO

by James Davies


Amarachi Okeh

A child who contracted the Marburg virus in Ghana has died, a representative of the World Health Organisation has said.

This has brought the total number of fatalities from the virus to three since the virus was first recorded in Ghana last month.

Marburg virus is an Ebola-like virus that causes severe viral haemorrhagic fever in humans.

According to the WHO, case fatality rates in Marburg haemorrhagic fever outbreaks have ranged from 24 per cent to 88 per cent.

It has been determined that the virus is transmitted from fruit bats to humans and spread among humans through human-to-human transmission. 

The disease is spread via direct contact with bodily fluids, surfaces, and materials associated with the affected, the WHO said.

The first case of the virus was detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg, Germany, where the disease takes its name.

The gender and the age of the dead child were not revealed but the child was one of the two cases reported in the past week, Yahoo News said.

Announcing the demise, the Assistant Director-General for Emergencies Response at the World Health Organisation, Dr. Ibrahima SocĂ© Fall said, “Last week I mentioned the two additional cases. One is the wife of the index case and the other one is the child of the index case and the child unfortunately died, but the wife is still alive and improving,”.

The Ghanaian health ministry has only reported three confirmed cases and further testing remains to be done on a fourth suspected case, the WHO doctor added.

The WHO had previously said that the first cases reported in the Ashanti region of Ghana were recorded to have suffered diarrhoea, fever, nausea, and vomiting, before dying in hospital.

At present, the WHO said it has not found a cure for the virus. “Severe cases require intensive supportive care, as patients are frequently in need of intravenous fluids or oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes.

“No specific treatment or vaccine is yet available for MHF. Several vaccine candidates are being tested but it could be several years before any are available.

“New drug therapies have shown promising results in laboratory studies and are currently being evaluated.”



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