Guinea’s health workers skillfully identified and addressed a case of Marburg virus disease in Temessadou M’Boket, Guinea. The health workers quick detection of this disease was essential to preventing a potential outbreak of this deadly virus on top of already battling the Covid-19. The World Health Organization(WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti has praised the health workers saying, “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.”
The Marburg virus is in the same family as the Ebola virus and has a fatality ratio of up to 88%. The virus spreads easily from human-to-human transmission from physical touch and fluids. “According to WHO, the virus is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and can then be spread human-to-human through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people or surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids.” said Stephanie Busari.
The case that Guinea health workers identified was from early August when a man went to get treated at a local clinic and his worsening symptoms prompted the workers to call a medical investigation team. Within hours of the man’s unfortunate passing the health workers had laboratory results that indicated the man had West Africa’s first case of Marburg Virus.
There are currently no vaccines or antiviral treatments that have been approved to counteract the Marburg virus disease. WHO experts are currently continuing investigations on the case and supporting local health authorities in surveillance, testing, and infection prevention.