Thursday, 08 December

Mining pits possible breeding grounds for Marburg virus bats – GHS

Health News
Marburg virus

Mining pits are possible breeding grounds for bats, the carriers of the Marburg virus, the Ghana Health Service has said.

According to the GHS, research has shown that such pits harbour bats.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said: “We know that it comes from the fruit bats that can spill over into humans and primates. Mining pits are possible breeding grounds for bats”. 

“There is, therefore, the need to increase our surveillance and awareness creation.”

“We are subsequently going to do additional assessments to look at the risk profile of the country.”

So far, three patients have died from the virus – one in the Savanna Region in July and two in June.

Forty people have been quarantined following the fatalities.

One of those who passed away on Thursday, 21 July 2022, was a relative of one of the two persons who lost their lives to the virus in June.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the deceased presented symptoms of the Marburg virus after the incubation period.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said at the time that: “Unfortunately, one close contact reported symptoms after the maximum 21-day incubation period and died on July 21”. 

“These are very close relatives, so, we have taken samples, and we are following up on them”.

“Their initial tests came out positive because of their close contact, and we have identified additional 40 contacts where the incident occurred, so, we are still monitoring.”

The GHS has, therefore, urged the general public to volunteer information to enable it to curb the virus.