By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on a local media report on a probable Marburg virus case in the west African country of Guinea, today it was confirmed 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.

Image/CDC

The patient, now deceased, had sought treatment at a local clinic in Koundou area of Gueckedou, where a medical investigation team had been dispatched to probe his worsening symptoms.

The Institut Pasteur in Senegal confirmed the result.

Gueckedou, where Marburg has been confirmed, is also the same region where cases of the 2021 Ebola outbreak in Guinea as well as the 2014–2016 West Africa outbreak were initially detected.

Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials.

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Illness begins abruptly, with high fever, severe headache and malaise. Many patients develop severe haemorrhagic signs within seven days. Case fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88% in past outbreaks depending on virus strain and case management.

Although there are no vaccines or antiviral treatments approved to treat the virus, supportive care – rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids – and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival.