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Ghana Declares Outbreak Of Deadly Marburg Virus

Ghana has confirmed its first two cases of the deadly Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola. No treatment yet exists for the often fatal illness.

Fruit Bat (Flying Fox) which carries the Marburg Virus
Fruit Bat (Flying Fox) which carries the Marburg Virus, photo by: Rudolphous

Ghana says both patients died recently in hospital in the southern Ashanti region. Their samples came back positive earlier this month and have now been verified by a laboratory in Senegal. Health officials in the West African nation say 98 people are now under quarantine as suspected contact cases, according to the BBC.

No treatment yet exists for Marburg – but doctors say drinking plenty of water and treating specific symptoms improves a patient’s chances of survival. The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads between humans through the transmission of bodily fluids. It is a severe, often fatal illness with symptoms including headache, fever, muscle pains, vomiting blood and bleeding, the BBC said.

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