There is no case of Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in Ghana after one infected patient recovered successfully, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has announced.
The survivor was one of three people infected with the virus after two negative tests conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).
According to a statement from the GHS, the patient has been discharged.
“Even though Ghana has no MVD cases currently, the Ghana Health Service, together with our development partners and relevant state agencies, will continue to maintain heightened surveillance for MVD and other viral hemorrhagic fevers,” the GHS statement said.
Marburg virus disease (MVD) is a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever which affects both people and non-human primates. MVD is caused by the Marburg virus, a genetically unique zoonotic (or animal-borne) RNA virus of the filovirus family.
The six species of the Ebola virus are the only other known members of the filovirus family.
Marburg virus was first recognized in 1967, when outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever occurred simultaneously in laboratories in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany and in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia). Thirty-one people became ill, initially laboratory workers followed by several medical personnel and family members who had cared for them. Seven deaths were reported. The first people infected had been exposed to Ugandan imported African green monkeys or their tissues while conducting research. One additional case was diagnosed retrospectively.
The reservoir host of Marburg virus is the African fruit bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus. Fruit bats infected with Marburg virus do not show obvious signs of illness. Primates (including people) can become infected with Marburg virus, and may develop serious disease with high mortality. Further study is needed to determine if other species may also host the virus.
Below is the full statement
Recovery of the last case of Marburg virus disease in Ghana.
The Ghana Health Service, as part of our continuous efforts at keeping the Ghanaian population updated on all public health emergencies, presents this update on the current situation of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) outbreak in the country.
Marburg Virus Disease was confirmed in Ghana on 4th July 2022. Three cases have since been reported with the last being on 21st July 2022. Two of the three cases unfortunately died. In all, 198 contacts were identified in four districts (Adansi North and South, Prestea Huni Valley, and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba) of which 118 of them have completed the 21 days of mandatory follow-up and have since been discharged. The remaining contacts are still being followed up and none has any symptoms.
The only survivor of the three (3) has since recovered from the disease following two negative tests carried out
48 hours apart on the 3rd and 6th of August 2022 respectively, by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR). The patient has since been discharged and reunited with her family. Ghana, therefore, has no case of MVD.
In line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, this outbreak will be declared over 42 days after the last negative test if there are no new cases. The public is encouraged to continue to observe the preventive measures and to report any illness to the nearest health facility for attention.
Even though Ghana has no MVD cases currently, the Ghana Health Service, together with our development partners and relevant state agencies will continue to maintain heightened surveillance for MVD and other viral hemorrhagic fevers. Ongoing public education and engagements on MVD will be maintained while we continuously review the situation. The Service with support from partners has initiated a process for socioecological mapping to assess the risk of viral hemorrhagic fevers for enhanced surveillance in Ghana.
The Ghana Health Service, working with our partners remains committed to working toward protecting the health of the general population of Ghana.