Coronavirus, thanks to new outbreaks in Europe, is still on the current agenda, but the alarmed public is already hearing with a shudder new messages from WHO about other dangerous diseases that could cause a new pandemic. The most recent object of concern is a UN press release, according to which the deadly Marburg virus, a “distant relative” of Ebola, has been found in Ghana (West Africa). It has in common with the coronavirus that both were transmitted to people, sort of like from bats. Some have already tried to call the “newcomer” a “zombie apocalypse virus”: firstly, because of the high mortality rate – from 40% to 90%, and secondly, because of the specific outward appearance of the sick, reminiscent of zombies from Hollywood horror films . If fears about a new infection turn out to be at least partially true, then it is obvious that tourism in the world will come to a complete end, at least for 2-3 years.
The official information is as follows. Preliminary reports of two cases of Marburg virus have prompted Ghana to prepare for a potential outbreak, according to a UN press release. “If confirmed, this would be the first such infection reported in the country and the second in West Africa,” the UN said in a statement.
According to this information, two unrelated patients from the southern Ashanti region suffered from diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting. They both died. Samples taken from two patients by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research were positive for Marburg. These samples were sent to the Institut Pasteur in Senegal, a collaborating center of the World Health Organization (WHO), for confirmation.
The WHO, in turn, first declared the virus extremely contagious – and moreover, it was named by the WHO as the next big threat of a pandemic. Yet a deadly relative of Ebola, Marburg kills between a quarter and 90 percent of all who become infected. As the WHO added, human infection with the Marburg virus initially occurs as a result of a long stay in mines or caves inhabited by colonies of Rousettus bats.
Infected patients become “ghosts”, their eyes sink deeply, and the virus also paralyzes the facial muscles. The course of the disease is accompanied by bleeding from the nose, gums, eyes and vagina.
“WHO is sending experts to support Ghanaian health officials and trace close contacts of victims,” the press release said. It also announced that there are no vaccines or antiviral drugs approved to treat the virus yet, and doctors have to rely on intravenous drips to relieve symptoms.
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