An outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus in Guinea is officially over, said the health authorities on Thursday, less than six weeks since West Africa’s first-ever case of the disease was detected.
No further cases were confirmed by health workers monitoring the 170 high-risk contacts of the first patient, who was diagnosed after surrendering to the highly infectious hemorrhagic fever.
Just two months after the country was declared free of Ebola this outbreak came, following a brief flare-up earlier this year that killed 12 people.
Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional director for Africa said, “Today we can point to the growing expertise in outbreak response in Guinea and the region that has saved lives, contained and averted a spill-over of the Marburg virus.”
“Without immediate and decisive action, highly infectious diseases like Marburg can easily get out of hand,” she said in a statement.
Marburg case and this year’s Ebola cases were detected in Guinea’s Gueckedou district, near the borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone. When the Ebola epidemic broke out the first cases of 2014-2016 that is the largest in history – also were from the same area in Southeastern Guinea’s forest region.
Currently, there have been 12 major Marburg outbreaks since 1967, mostly in southern and eastern Africa. According to the, WHO deaths rates have diverse from 24% to 88% in past outbreaks depending on the virus strain and case management.
Transmission occurs through contact with infected body fluids and tissue. Symptoms include headache, vomiting blood, muscle pains and bleeding through various orifices.