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Beware of Marburg virus- Public Health Specialist to Ghanaians

There is a health alert of a new virus in the world called Marburg virus, and a Public Health Specialist at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) Alhaji Tahiru Mustapha has advised Ghanaians  to practice hand hygiene, frequent hand washing with soap and under running water to prevent the contraction of a new viral disease known as Marburg Virus. His advice comes following the issuance of a red alert by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) of the new Marburg virus disease in neighboring Guinea.

The rare but highly infectious Marburg virus disease was detected in a patient who died on August 2, in Guinea making it the first case of the Ebola-like virus in West Africa. A statement issued by the GHS, said it has alerted all its regional offices to be on high alert for the disease. All Regional and District Public Health Emergency Management Committees it added should include Marburg on their agenda.

Giving details about the virus, the Public Health Specialist said the Marburg virus is a zoonotic virus that is transmitted to humans from fruit bats and can then be spread from human to human through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people or surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids. Symptoms he mentioned begin abruptly, with a high fever, severe headache, and malaise.

The preventive measures for the Marburg virus Alhaji Tahiru indicates include avoiding contact with body fluids such as urine, saliva, sweat, faeces, vomit, and semen of people who show any of the symptoms above. He also advised that we practice personal hygiene and to protect ourselves.

On whether the country’s health facilities will be capable of dealing with the new Marburg virus, Alhaji Tahiru indicates ‘’our health facilities and health workers are ready and capable of controlling any virus that might arrive in the country, but cautioned people to be more concerned about themselves so that health facilities will not be over whelmed’’.

By: Lilian D. Walter/zaanews/Ghana

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