1st West African Case Of Deadly Marburg Virus Detected: WHO.

1st West African Case Of Deadly Marburg Virus Detected: WHO

1st West African Case Of Deadly Marburg Virus Detected: WHO

Geneva, Switzerland |:

Guinea confirmed a case of Marburg disease, the World Health Organization said on Monday, the first recorded in West Africa of the lethal virus that's related to Ebola and, like Covid-19, passed from animal hosts to humans.

The virus, which is carried by bats and has a fatality rate of up to 88 percent, was found in samples taken from a patient who died on August 2 in southern Gueckedou prefecture, the WHO said.

"The potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means we need to stop it in its tracks," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The discovery comes just two months after the WHO declared an end to Guinea's second outbreak of Ebola, which started last year and claimed 12 lives.

In Geneva, the WHO said it considered the threat "high" at the national and regional level, but "low" globally.

"We are working with the health authorities to implement a swift response that builds on Guinea's past experience and expertise in managing Ebola, which is transmitted in a similar way," Moeti said.

The Guinean government confirmed the Marburg case in a statement.

Marburg virus is usually associated with exposure to caves or mines housing colonies of Rousettus bats. Once caught by a human, it is spread through contact with bodily fluids of infected people, or with contaminated surfaces and materials, according to the WHO.

Rapid response

"We applaud the alertness and the quick investigative action by Guinea's health workers," Moeti said.

The case was detected in a village in a forested region close to the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The man's symptoms date back to July 25, the WHO said.

After being initially treated at a local clinic and tested for malaria, the patient died "in the community", the WHO said.

Post-mortem samples then tested negative for Ebola, but positive for Marburg.

Ten WHO experts, including epidemiologists and socio-anthropologists, are already in the field to support national health authorities.

The emergency response includes risk assessment, disease surveillance, community mobilisation and screening, clinical care, infection control and logistical support, WHO said.

Cross-border surveillance has also been stepped up so that possible cases can be quickly detected, it said.

Three family members of the deceased and a healthcare worker have been identified as high-risk close contacts and are being monitored, while investigations are under way to identify the source of the infection and any other possible contacts, the WHO said.

Previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

But this is the first time the virus has been detected in West Africa.

The disease begins suddenly, with a high fever, severe headache and discomfort.

Fatality rates have ranged from 24 percent to 88 percent in previous outbreaks, depending on the virus strain and case management, the WHO says.

Although there are no approved vaccines or antiviral treatments, oral or intravenous rehydration and treatment of specific symptoms improve survival rates, it says.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Gabby Petito’s Step-Father Honors Daughter At Memorial: ‘She Genuinely Loved People’.

Gabby Petito’s Step-Father Honors Daughter At Memorial: ‘She Genuinely Loved People’.

Long lines formed outside the Moloney Funeral Home as the public came to pay respects to Gabby Petito. The 22-year-old’s step-father asked the public to be inspired by how his step-daughter treated others. More than 100 firefighters were in attend...

Taiwan Receives 160,000 Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine from Slovakia.

Taiwan Receives 160,000 Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine from Slovakia.

A plane carrying 160,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Slovakia arrived at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan on Sunday, September 26. ––––––––– READ MORE: The shipment was donated by the Slovakian government as a gesture of ...

More Than 12,000 Migrants Remain In The U.S.

More Than 12,000 Migrants Remain In The U.S.

The makeshift migrant camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas is no more. More than 12,000 migrants, mostly Haitian, remain in the U.S. seeking asylum.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative an...

Pfizer Booster Vaccines Rolled Out in U.S.

Pfizer Booster Vaccines Rolled Out in U.S.

People across the country got their Pfizer booster shots this weekend. Doctors in the U.S. say there’s not enough data to support mixing vaccines. Health officials encourage booster shots for those eligible.» Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NB...

New York School Vaccine Mandate Temporarily Blocked.

New York School Vaccine Mandate Temporarily Blocked.

Hours before a vaccine mandate was set to go into effect for teachers in New York, a federal judge temporarily blocked its enforcement. Nearly 150,000 school employees would have needed their first vaccination dose by Monday.» Subscribe to NBC New...

Three Killed, Dozens Injured in Amtrak Train Derailment.

Three Killed, Dozens Injured in Amtrak Train Derailment.

An Amtrak train with 141 people and 16 crew members derailed near Joplin, Montana. Three died in the incident, and dozens more were injured. Federal investigators are on scene to determine what went wrong. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC...