First case of deadly Marburg virus confirmed in West Africa

Tuesday August 10 2021
marburg virus guinea

Health officials bury a Marburg victim. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


Officials in Guinea have confirmed a case of the Marburg virus disease, the first appearance of the deadly illness in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.

"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 Regional Director for Africa.

Guinean officials identified the case in the southern Gueckedou prefecture, said the WHO statement.

"This is the first time Marburg, a highly infectious disease that causes haemorrhagic fever, has been identified in the country, and in West Africa," it added.

The disease falls into the same family as the virus that causes Ebola, another deadly and highly infectious disease.

Guinea's discovery comes just two months after the WHO declared an end to the country's second outbreak of Ebola, which started last year and claimed 12 lives.