Guinea monitoring 172 contact cases of Marburg virus victim

West Africa’s first-ever case of Marburg virus disease, which is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola, has been confirmed in Guinea. PHOTO: WHO file

Guinean health officials are monitoring 172 contact cases of a man who died of Marburg virus, Health Minister Remy Lamah said Thursday.

West Africa’s first recorded case of the virus — which belongs to the same filovirus family as Ebola but is somewhat less deadly — was confirmed on August 9.

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

His symptoms had appeared on July 25, according to the WHO.

Lamah said no new cases of Marburg had emerged.

“We are fully engaged in strengthening prevention and monitoring infections, in the detection of cases and raising public awareness,” he told a virtual press conference organised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

No treatment or vaccine exists for Marburg, whose symptoms include high fever and internal and external bleeding.

The incubation period of the virus — the interval from infection to onset of symptoms — varies from two to 21 days.

The WHO warned last week that the “critical time period” had begun “during which anyone exposed to the virus would be most likely to develop symptoms.”

Lamah noted that Guinea was also monitoring 58 contact cases of an Ebola patient while facing a resurgence in Covid cases that he said was “severely testing our health services”.

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