First ever case of Marburg in Guinea confirmed

A recently queried case of Marburg virus in Guinea has now been confirmed. This is the first time the virus, a highly infectious disease that casuse hemorrhagic fever, had been detected in Guinea, and West Africa.

The patient sought treatment at a local clinic in Koundou, where a medical investigation team was brought in to investigate his worsening symptoms. The confirmation of Marburg Virus was made by The Institut Pasteur in Senegal. The patient has since died from the virus.

The area where this virus has been detected is the same region where cases of the 2021 Ebola outbreak in Guinea, and the 2014–2016 West Africa outbreak were initially detected.

Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials. Symptoms begin abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise. Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic signs within seven days. Case fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88% in past outbreaks depending on virus strain and case management.

Although there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat the virus, supportive care – rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids – and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival.

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