New virus 'Marburg' registers 1st-ever case in Guinea

TEHRAN, Aug. 10 (MNA) – Guinea has confirmed its first-ever case of the "Marburg virus".

The virus causes heavy hemorrhagic fever, and a World Health Organization (WHO) team is already working on the ground, WHO said on Monday.

Last week, the African country's health ministry announced that a suspected case had been confirmed on its territory, Sputnik reported.

"Health authorities in Guinea today confirmed a case of Marburg virus disease in the southern Gueckedou prefecture. This is the first time Marburg, a highly infectious disease that causes hemorrhagic fever, has been identified in the country, and in West Africa," the WHO Regional Office for Africa said in a statement.
The first confirmed patient has passed away from the disease and an effort is underway to locate people who were in contact with him. The country's health authorities are starting a campaign to raise awareness and mobilize public support to stem a potential outbreak.

"An initial team of 10 WHO experts, including epidemiologists and socio-anthropologists, is on the ground helping to investigate the case and supporting the national health authorities to swiftly step up emergency response, including risk assessment, disease surveillance, community mobilization, testing, clinical care, infection prevention as well as logistical support,"  the organization added.
The Marburg hemorrhagic fever, which is very close to Ebola, is a highly lethal disease that has no specific treatment. Egyptian fruit bats are believed to be natural carriers of the virus, which can be transmitted to people as well as from human to human.

The virus is named after the German city of Marburg, whose laboratory saw the first recorded outbreak in 1967 when some of its employees caught the disease after contact with infected grivet monkeys.


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