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“We have entered the critical phase” … WHO is concerned about the discovery of this cousin of Ebola in Guinea

It is the hardly less deadly cousin of the Ebola virus … West Africa recorded at the beginning of the month in Guinea its very first case of the Marburg virus, against which there is no vaccine or treatment. It manifests as an acute fever accompanied by internal and external bleeding resulting in death in 50% of cases on average.

The virus, which is transmitted by bats, was discovered in samples taken from a man who died on August 2 in Guéckédou prefecture (South), in a village in a forest region near the border with Sierra Leone and from Liberia.

150 contact cases identified

Her symptoms started on July 25, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“So far, there have been no other cases of Marburg since the index case which was confirmed on August 9,” said a spokesperson for the health agency in Geneva, Fadela Chaib, at the time. a press briefing.

150 contact cases have been identified so far, she said. The incubation period (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms) ranges from 2 to 21 days. “We have entered the critical period when anyone exposed to the virus is most likely to develop symptoms. Surveillance is therefore particularly important at this time and the teams are monitoring contacts twice a day, ”explained Fadela Chaib.

“Screenings of suspected cases are also underway” while “efforts continue to locate people who may have been in contact with the deceased patient,” she said.

A case fatality rate that varies between 24 and 88%

Cross-border surveillance has been strengthened. As of August 11, nearly 200 people had been examined in this way, according to the UN specialist agency.

There is no approved vaccine or treatment to date. Several treatments based on blood products, immune therapies and drug treatments are under development, the WHO said.

Case fatality rates have ranged from 24% to 88% in previous outbreaks, depending on virus strain and case management.


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