155 quarantined in Guinea after first Marburg virus case confirmed

Health workers from the Guinean Ministry of Health prepare forms to register medical staff ahead of their anti-ebola vaccines at the N'zerekore Hospital
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There are 155 people in quarantine in Guinea after a case of the Marburg virus disease was confirmed in the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) for Africa said Monday that Marburg, which is in the same family as Ebola, was confirmed in a person after he died from it.

The WHO said in a separate release the case was found in a man who began desplaying symptoms July 25. He died from the disease on Aug. 2.

“We applaud the alertness and the quick investigative action by Guinea’s health workers. The potential for the Marburg virus to spread far and wide means we need to stop it in its tracks,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said.

“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 added.

A medical team consisting of WHO experts was deployed after an alert was sent out by a health care facility in Guéckédou when the patient died.

There is currently no cure or vaccine for the disease, but treatment of symptoms improves the survival rate. The fatality rate ranges from 24 to 88 percent, the organization said.

The disease is originally transmitted from fruit bats to humans; it travels among humans through bodily fluid.

International groups are working to minimize the spread with the Ministry of Health implementing national and district emergency management committees.

All four cases of known high-risk close contacts to the person who died are currently asymptomatic.

“These factors suggest a high risk at the national level, requiring an immediate and coordinated response with support from international partners,” the organization said. “The risk associated with the event at the global level is low.”

The case falls in the same region of an Ebola outbreak earlier this year, as well as where an Ebola outbreak began in 2014. 

Tags Guinea Infectious diseases Marburg virus WHO World Health Organization Zoonoses

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