The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on the deteriorating of the epidemiological situation in Africa. At least four people have turned up as contacts of a man who died in Guinea from the Ebola-like Marburg virus, The Associated Press reports.
WHO spokesperson Fadela Chaib said the case, first reported on Aug 9, amounts to the first in West Africa. The case emerged in Gueckedou, near Guinea’s borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia, a region hit by an Ebola outbreak between 2014 and 2016 that killed at least 11,325 people.
On Tuesday, the WHO confirmed that at least four people have turned up as contacts of a man who died from the Ebola-like Marburg pathogen. Meantime, the WHO staffers deployed in the West African country to help authorities prevent an outbreak.
The Guinean health authorities were working to trace contacts of the man, who had visited a health facility before he died. While the four were tested for Marburg infection, the WHO workers are continuing the tracing.
“At least four people he came in contact with are asymptomatic. So they did not show the disease,” Chaib said and added that ten WHO staff are in the community to do a contact tracing.
The WHO had already had teams in the region because they had been working on a recently-ended Ebola outbreak. Its ‘cousin’, the Marburg virus, belongs to the same family and previous outbreaks have erupted elsewhere across Africa in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
As the doctors say, Marburg symptoms include high fever and muscle pains, and some patients later bleed through body openings like eyes and ears. So far, the WHO has no approved drug or vaccine for Marburg, but rehydration and other supportive care can improve a patient’s chances of survival.