The World Health Organization has issued an urgent warning that an Ebola-like virus with an 88 percent fatality rate might ‘spread far and wide.’
THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) has issued an urgent warning about an Ebola-like virus that has an 88 percent fatality rate and has the potential to “spread widely and far.”
The deadly Marburg virus has been discovered for the first time in West Africa, with specialists warning that it might “spread wide and far” and that it must be destroyed as soon as possible. The virus has provoked similar concerns and mayhem as the Ebola pandemic in West Africa from 2013 to 2016. “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’s regional director for Africa.
“We’re working with the health authorities to put in place a quick response that builds on Guinea’s previous experience and skill in dealing with Ebola, which is spread in a similar way.”
The new case was discovered in a man from Guinea near the borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia, raising concerns that the virus could spread across the continent, striking neighboring countries first.
Before going to his local health facility on July 25, the patient began to experience symptoms.
He died the next day after being in contact with four other people who are currently symptom-free.
At the community level, contact tracing is now underway, as is active case searching in health facilities.
Guinea’s new case comes barely two months after the country was proclaimed Ebola-free after a brief outbreak earlier this year that claimed the lives of 12 people.
South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have all reported sporadic cases of the Marburg virus.
This is, however, the first time the virus has been discovered in West Africa.
The virus is related to Ebola, but there are no therapies or vaccines available.
Concerns about the virus’s spread in Guinea have prompted the WHO and other organizations, such as the Red Cross, to take steps to contain the outbreak.
Following the man’s death, the WHO is looking into the origins of the virus.
“Marburg viral disease (MVD) is a highly virulent, epidemic-prone disease associated with high case fatality rates,” the WHO stated in a statement (CFR 24-90 percent).
“In the early stages of the disease, it can be difficult to distinguish MVD from other tropical diseases.”Brinkwire Summary News”.