Confirmed by the authorities of Ghana the two suspects positive for Marburg virus, similar to Ebola and highly contagious. Mortality rates in previous experiences of comparison with this virus are not encouraging and there is a strong fear of a rapid new spread.
Currently the various symptomatic forms of this disease are still being studied, but the WHO is intervening to try to contain the “Epidemic risk”.
Also from the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome there are warnings on the methods of dissemination and teachings to be drawn in the light of the consolidated experience with the Omicron 5 variant.
Marburg epidemic risk: record death rates
Marburg virus is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever belonging to the same family as the more well-known Ebola virus disease. WHO to establish i mortality rates analyzed the incidences in the case of the 1967 outbreaks recorded in Germany, in Frankfurt, and Belgrade, in Yugoslavia. The results are remarkable and range between 24% and 88% depending on the virus strain. At the time, a substantial difference was the effective management of the emergency, more or less timely and efficient.
Compared to the first episodes, however, medicine has not made great progress since at the moment there are no vaccines or antiviral therapies approved for the treatment of the virus but only supportive care, such as rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids, which aid survival.
To make up for this gap then the WHO intervenes declaring that “A series of possible treatments are being evaluated, including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies”.
Ghana has announced the preliminary finding of two cases of #Marburg virus disease and if confirmed these would the first such infections recorded in the country
➡️ https://t.co/GrjuK7itmw pic.twitter.com/SiariKqRI3
– WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) July 7, 2022
The mobilization for a possible response to the epidemic therefore exists and to certify it are also the words of Dr. Francis Kasolo, representative of the World Health Organization in Ghana:
“The health authorities are on the ground to investigate the situation and prepare for a possible response to the epidemic. We are working closely with the country to increase detection, keep track of contacts and be ready to control the spread of the virus ».
Symptoms of the Marburg virus
The discovery of the infection took place during the preliminary analysis of samples taken from two patients, both deceased and unrelated, and was performed by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. However, the Ghanaian report and investigations also passed a double medical check as the samples were sent to Senegal, to the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, a center that collaborates with the WHO.
From the mapping thus reconstructed by the experts of both countries, the registration of i symptoms associated with the disease caused by the Marburg virus. From the information disclosed so far we know that the range of manifestations attributable to the infection include headache, blood regurgitation and muscle aches. On the other hand, the reports establish that transmission occurs through contact with infected blood and other body fluids or tissues.
Similarities to Omicron 5
Viral phenomena with high transmissions therefore have a common imperative: it serves prudence and conscience in dealing with them.
The information that is starting to circulate regarding Marburg strains according to experts should therefore not be underestimated. Carlo Federico Perno, clinical virologist and head of Microbiology and Immunology Diagnostics at the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome, in fact also warns Italy:
“What happens on another continent cannot fail to concern us. Omicron 5 is proof of this, it is spreading almost synchronously all over the world due to the massive movements of millions of people. These things will happen more and more“.
Ultimately, the need to consolidate the awareness that pandemics are and will be increasingly frequent is on the horizon.
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