Guinean health officials have confirmed a death from the Marburg virus, a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, a first in West Africa.
Since 1967, a dozen epidemics of Marburg have been recorded on the continent, mostly in southern and eastern Africa.
The case of Marburg virus contamination was identified last week, less than two months after the WHO declared the Ebola epidemic to be over in Guinea.
“The likelihood of the Marburg virus spreading far and wide forces us to stop it along the way,” the WHO regional director for Africa noted in a statement.
“We are working with the health authorities to put in place a rapid response using Guinea’s experience and expertise in managing Ebola, which is transmitted in a similar way,” added Matshidiso Moeti.