Marburg outbreak in Guinea is over

Sept. 21, 2021

The Ministry of Health of Guinea has declared the end of the Marburg virus disease outbreak in Guéckédou prefecture, Nzérékoré Region, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO said the declaration was made “42 days after the safe and dignified burial of the only confirmed patient reported in this outbreak. This was the first-ever Marburg virus disease case reported in Guinea.”

From August 3, 2021, to the end of outbreak declaration, only one confirmed case was reported. The patient, a man, had onset of symptoms on July 25. On August 1, he went to a small health facility near his village, with symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, and gingival hemorrhage. A rapid diagnostic test for malaria returned a negative result, and the patient received ambulatory supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment. Upon returning home, his condition worsened, and he died on August 2. On August 3, a sample from the man tested positive for Marburg virus disease by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and negative for Ebola virus disease.

A total of 173 contacts were identified, including 14 high risk contacts based on exposure. Among them, 172 were followed for a period of 21 days, of which none developed symptoms. One high-risk contact was lost to follow up.

The WHO said Marburg virus disease (MVD) is an epidemic-prone disease associated with high case fatality ratios. In the early course of the disease, clinical diagnosis of MVD is difficult to distinguish from many other tropical febrile illnesses because of the similarities in the clinical symptoms. Other viral hemorrhagic fevers need to be excluded, particularly Ebola virus disease (EVD), as well as malaria, typhoid fever, leptospirosis, rickettsial infection and plague. MVD is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids and/or tissues of infected persons or wild animals (e.g., monkeys and fruit bats).

Visit the WHO for more news