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Marburg Virus: Cameroon Suspects Two Cases Near Border With Equatorial Guinea

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On Monday, Cameroonian authorities discovered two suspected cases of Marburg disease in Olamze, a community on the border with Equatorial Guinea, Robert Mathurin Bidjang, the public health delegate for the region, said on Tuesday.

Equatorial Guinea, on Monday, officially confirmed its first outbreak of the Marburg virus, like Ebola.

Equatorial Guinea’s neighbour, Cameroon, had banned movement on the border to prevent the virus from spreading after an unknown fatal hemorrhagic fever was reported in Equatorial Guinea last week.

At a meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital, Bidjang said, “On the 13th of February, we had two suspected cases. These are two 16-year-old children, a boy and a girl, who have no previous travel history to the affected areas in Equatorial Guinea.”

He added that forty-two people who were exposed to the two children have been identified as well as contact tracing was being conducted.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that it would boost its epidemiolocal surveillance in the small Central African country.

George Ameh, WHO’s country representative in Equatorial Guinea, said, “Surveillance in the field has been intensified.”

“Contact tracing, as you know, is a cornerstone of the response. We have… redeployed the COVID-19 teams that were there for contact tracing and quickly retrofitted them to help us out.”

According to WHO, Equatorial Guinea has reported nine deaths and 16 suspected cases of Marburg virus disease, showing symptoms such as fever, fatigue, blood-stained vomit and diarrhea.

Marburg virus is an infectious disease that could have a fatality rate of up to 88%, as per the WHO. No vaccines or antiviral treatments have been approved yet for treatments.

Ameh said, “We’re working on a 30-day response plan where we should be able to quantify what are the exact measures and quantify what are the exact needs.”

The country’s authorities have not reported any new suspected case in the last 48 hours, he said.

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