The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dt. Fraklin Asiedu Bekoe has explained that Marburg Virus Disease is not a disease that the public should joke with.
He said unlike the Ebola Virus, there is no vaccination for the Marburg Virus, hence the general public should take precautionary measures and stay safe.
He said the treatment for the Marburg Virus was based on its symptoms.
Speaking on Frontline on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he said the country has confirmed two cases but unfortunately the victims have passed on.
He also disclosed that the victims had no history of travel, but they are local farmers who contracted the virus.
So far, 98 contacts have been traced but no case has been recorded, he told the host, Kwabena Agyapong.
Meanwhile, he has underscored the need for Ghanaians to continue practising social distancing, hand washing with soap and water, and wearing of nose masks.
About the Virus
Marburg virus is the causative agent of Marburg virus disease (MVD), a disease with a case fatality ratio of up to 88%, but can be much lower with good patient care. Marburg virus disease was initially detected in 1967 after simultaneous outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany; and in Belgrade, Serbia.
Marburg and Ebola viruses are both members of the Filoviridae family (filovirus).
Though caused by different viruses, the two diseases are clinically similar. Both diseases are rare and have the capacity to cause outbreaks with high fatality rates.
Marburg spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) varies from 2 to 21 days.
Illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and severe malaise. Muscle aches and pains are a common feature. Severe watery diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramping, nausea and vomiting can begin on the third day. Diarrhoea can persist for a week. The appearance of patients at this phase has been described as showing “ghost-like” drawn features, deep-set eyes, expressionless faces, and extreme lethargy. In the 1967 European outbreak, non-itchy rash was a feature noted in most patients between 2 and 7 days after onset of symptoms.