Health authorities in Ghana have officially confirmed two cases of the Marburg virus, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, after two people who later died tested positive for the virus earlier this month.
Tests conducted in Ghana came back positive on July 10, but the results had to be verified by a laboratory in Senegal for the cases to be considered confirmed, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Further testing at the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal has corroborated the results,” Ghana Health Service (GHS) said in a statement on Sunday.
GHS is working to reduce any risk of the virus spreading, including the isolation of all identified contacts, none of whom has developed any symptoms so far, it said.
The first case was a 26-year-old male who checked into a hospital on June 26 and died on June 27. The second was a 51-year-old male who went to the hospital on June 28 and died the same day, the WHO said, adding that both men sought treatment at the same hospital.
The two patients in southern Ghana’s Ashanti region had symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting, before dying in hospital, the WHO said.
This is only the second outbreak of Marburg in West Africa. The first case of the virus in the region was detected last year in Guinea, with no further cases identified.