Child infected with Marburg virus dies in Ghana

The number of fatalities in the country has risen to three since Ghana registered its first-ever Marburg virus outbreak last month.

New High security laboratory at BNI, Hamburg
A virologist works in a high security laboratory at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, which researches diseases including the Marburg virus, on January 25, 2013 [File: AFP]

A child who contracted the highly infectious Ebola-like Marburg virus in Ghana has died, a World Health Organization official has said.

The death on Tuesday brings the total number of fatalities in the country to three since Ghana registered its first-ever outbreak of the disease last month. The outbreak is only the second in West Africa, after the first was detected last year in Guinea.

The dead child, whose gender or age were not disclosed, was one of two new cases reported last week by the WHO.

“Last week I mentioned the two additional cases. One is the wife of the index case and the other one is the child of the index case and the child unfortunately died, but the wife is still alive and improving,” WHO doctor Ibrahima Soce Fall told reporters.

The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with bodily fluids, surfaces and materials, the WHO said.

So far, the Ghanaian health ministry has only reported three confirmed cases and further testing remains to be done on a fourth suspected case, Fall said.

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

Source: Reuters