Marburg outbreak: There’s no cause for alarm – Dr. Amuasi

A Public Health Expert at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), Dr. John Amuasi, has urged Ghanaians not to panic as a result of the Marburg virus outbreak.

According to him, despite the virus having a high fatality rate, it is hard to transmit and thus chances of a mass outbreak are rather slim.

He also noted that the rapid response to the incident involving two infected persons in the Ashanti Region by the health workers there, and their adherence to the necessary safety protocols have significantly contributed to preventing a mass outbreak.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Dr. Amuasi stressed that there is no cause for alarm and the general public should simply adhere to whatever protocols or safety tips public health experts proffer concerning disease prevention.

“If you ask me very candidly, right now, from where we sit I would say there is no cause for alarm. I say there’s no cause for alarm for two reasons. If you look at the history of the disease itself and you look at where the last outbreaks have been most recently in Guinea – and this was the same town which brought forth Ebola, they had just one case of Marburg virus and that was it. This was in 2021.

“Before then there had been cases in Uganda, actually Uganda is the country that has had the most outbreaks and it has been a handful of people with sometimes 50% mortality, sometimes a 100% mortality but if you look at the 100% mortality, it’s those outbreaks that had been one person, two persons, maximum three persons. So it is very deadly but it’s not that easy to get,” he said.

On July 8, two positive cases were reported in the Ashanti Region.

The first case was a 26-year-old male who checked into a hospital on June 26 and died on June 27. The second was a 51-year-old male who went to the hospital on June 28 and died the same day.

The two patients had reported at the same hospital with symptoms including diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting, before dying.

Health experts have advised frequent washing of hands with soap and water as a good way to avoid infection.