The World Health Organization has declared an end to Ghana’s outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus after more than six weeks without any new cases.
Three cases of the virus were recorded in the West African country in late June, killing two people.
Marburg is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever in the same family as Ebola. The symptoms of Marburg include diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting.
Speaking at a press conference Friday in Accra, head of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said having passed the mandatory 42-day period without a new case, the country is now free of the virus.
“I do hereby state that, the appropriate outbreak reasons to Marburg disease have been implemented during the 42 days, following the last negative PCR test result for the sole surviving patient with recommendation from WHO,” he said. “Ghana has, therefore, successfully interrupted the first Marburg virus disease outbreak and hereby declare that the outbreak is over.”
A total of 198 people were tested for the virus when it first broke in Ghana. They all tested negative.
It is the second time Marburg made a West African appearance. The first outbreak was in Guinea in September of last year.
Marburg has also appeared in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments for Marburg, but WHO says supportive care — rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids — and treatment of specific symptoms improves the rate of survival.