Ghana declared free of Marburg virus outbreak
Ghana has announced that there are no active cases of the Ebola-like Marburg virus following the recovery of the last infected person.
The Friday announcement by the Ghana Health Service follows the World Health Organization guidelines, which say that if there are no new cases 42 days after the last negative test, a country should be declared free of the outbreak.
According to the health authority, Ghana confirmed the first case of Marburg virus disease on July 4. Three cases have since been reported with two fatalities recorded.
In total, 198 contacts were identified in four districts and 118 people completed the mandatory 21-day follow-up and were discharged.
“The remaining contacts are still being followed up and none has any symptoms,” the statement added.
The Marburg virus disease causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever with a mortality rate of 50% for humans on average, according to the WHO.
It is passed on to humans by fruit bats, and spread among humans through contact with bodily fluids and objects like bedding and clothing.
In West Africa, this is only the second Marburg outbreak. The first case in the area was confirmed in Guinea last year, and no additional cases were found.
There is no known cure or vaccine for Marburg.