Africa: Ghana has confirmed its first two cases of the deadly Marburg virus, a highly contagious disease in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola.
It added that both the patients died recently at a hospital in the southern Ashanti region. His samples had come positive earlier this month and have now been verified by a laboratory in Senegal.
Health officials in the West African nation say 98 people are now in quarantine as suspected contact cases.
There is no cure for Marburg yet – but doctors say drinking plenty of water and treating specific symptoms increases a patient’s chances of survival. The virus is transmitted from fruit bats to humans and through bodily fluids.
It is a serious, often fatal illness with symptoms including headache, fever, muscle aches, vomiting blood, and bleeding.
Officials warn people to avoid caves and thoroughly cook all meat products before eating them.
The WHO says that in Africa, there have been previous outbreaks and sporadic cases in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. In 1967, the first outbreak of Marburg occurred in Germany, where seven people died.
The virus killed more than 200 people in Angola in 2005, the deadliest outbreak on record according to the global health body.