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Ghana confirms first cases of highly infectious Marburg virus

Ghana has officially confirmed two cases of the Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, its health service said on Sunday, after two people who later died tested positive for the virus earlier this month.

“Further testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal has corroborated the results,” Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in a statement.

This is only the second outbreak of Marburg in West Africa. The first ever case of the virus in the region was detected last year in Guinea, with no further cases identified.

The two patients in southern Ghana’s Ashanti region both had symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting, before dying in hospital, the WHO said.

The disease, a very infectious hemorrhagic fever in the same family as Ebola, is spread to people by fruit bats and transmitted among people through direct contact with bodily fluids of infected people and surfaces, WHO said.

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