Research fellow and Virologist at the Noguchi Memorial Research, Dr. Joseph Kofi Bonney, has shared a brief history of the deadly Marburg virus recorded in Ghana and the Sub-Saharan Guinea.
According to him, the virus was first recorded in 1967 in the city of Marburg, Germany. Hence the origin of the name of the virus.
In an interview on e.tv Ghana’s “Fact Sheet” he disclosed that the virus was originally found in a group of animals known as the “Green Monkeys” after they were transported to Germany from Uganda for scientific purposes.
“…They were imported from Uganda to Germany for some scientific experiments and they realized that they were dying. So, after they screened them they realized they had these viruses and because they were first detected in Marburg they named the virus the Marburg virus. After that there were outbreaks in DR Congo and Uganda where there have been notable impacts with a little over 200 dead. So that’s a little history of the virus,” he told Samuel Eshun, host of the Fact Sheet.
The virologist indicated that the virus has the tendency to collapse the entire cardio-vascular system of the human body. He noted that the virus feeds heavily on the blood vessels which carry blood across the human body, eventually causing internal bleeding.
“If you have a full blown infection what it means is that these are viruses that have ability to destroy your vascular system. So the links that will carry your blood across the body to and from the heart, the virus have a way of puncturing through these tubes. So you have bleeding and that can be internal or coming out of major orifices in the face and also the body. You have bleeding from your nostrils and even from your tears and gums,” he added.
Dr Joseph Bonney further cautioned field doctors not to use needles to extract blood samples of infected persons because, “the virus compromises your clotting factors. Clotting is difficult to take place and when you start bleeding it may not stop. So when you use needle you’ll rather let the person bleed to death so advisably can take blood coming out of the person rather than needle.”
Meanwhile, The Ghana Health Service is on an aggressive hunt for the source of the outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus disease which has killed 2 persons in the Ashanti Region.
Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe says the Service has begun aggressive contact tracing.
Earlier, 98 people were under quarantine as suspected contact cases. However, he noted that 39 of them have been discharged after they were cleared by authorities for not exhibiting the symptoms.
By: Jude Tackie