In a follow-up on the first ever Marburg Virus Disease outbreak in Ghana earlier this summer, Ghana’s Ministry of Health declared the end of the outbreak that was confirmed nearly two months ago.
Health authorities made the declaration after no new cases were reported over the past 42 days, or two incubation periods—the time between infection and the onset of symptoms. In total, three confirmed cases, including two deaths were recorded in the outbreak declared on 7 July 2022 after laboratory confirmation of the virus that affected the country’s Ashanti, Savannah and Western regions. A total of 198 contacts were identified, monitored and completed their recommended initial 21-day observation period which was then extended for another 21 days out of an abundance of caution by the Ghanaian health authorities.
“Marburg is a frightening disease as it is highly infectious and lethal. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments. Any outbreak of Marburg is a major concern,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Despite having no previous experience with the disease, Ghana’s response has been rapid and robust. Lives have been saved and people’s health protected thanks to an effective disease detection system that helped to quickly identify the virus and enabled prompt response to curb the spread of infection.”
The Marburg outbreak in Ghana was the second of its kind in West Africa. Guinea reported a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021. In Africa, previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.