Guinea declares end of Marburg virus disease outbreak

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Guinea on Thursday declared the end of the Marburg virus disease outbreak having recorded no new cases over the past 42 days.

The country reported a confirmed case of the virus on 9 August, marking the first time the disease emerged in the country and in West Africa.

Only one case was recorded – the index patient who was diagnosed with the virus posthumously – while 170 high-risk contacts monitored for 21 days all returned negative results.

“Without immediate and decisive action, highly infectious diseases like Marburg can easily get out of hand. Today we can point to the growing expertise in outbreak response in Guinea and the region that has saved lives, contained and averted a spill-over of the Marburg virus,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

According to the WHO, Marburg virus disease is a highly virulent disease that causes hemorrhagic fever, with a fatality ratio of up to 88%. It is in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola virus disease.

The health body urged Guinea to remain vigilant to avoid any flare-ups.