By Tata Mbunwe
The Minister of Public Health, Dr Manaouda Malachi, February 14 called on Cameroonians to be on alert, after the deadly and highly contagious Marburg virus killed many people in neighboring Equatorial Guinea.
Last week, Dr Manaouda had announced the restriction of movement between both countries, after initially confirming an outbreak of hemorrhage fever in Ambam, Olamze and Kye-Ossi health Districts of E. Guinea.
“Marburg virus disease is highly contagious and virulent. It causes hemorrhagic fever, with a fatality rate of yo to 90 percent,” Dr Manaouda said, adding that “It is marked by fever, headache, behavioural disorder, general malaise accompanied by massive hemorrhaging.”
He warned of “a major risk of importation” of the disease and “its possible spread within the country”, stating the MINSANTE and its partners are on alert.
At the moment, no case has been confirmed in Cameroon, but the Public Health Ministry has been working with the WHO to strengthen epidemiological surveillance, search active cases and contact persons in risk areas, and sensitise Cameroonian communities bordering E. Guinea.
“The Minister or Public Health once more invites the nursing staff to immediately notify and isolate any suspected case and avoid moving them. Compliance with infection prevention and control rules must be respected,” Dr Manaouda Malachi said.
Health experts say Marburg virus can be transmitted through contact with infected animals, body fluids of infected persons, or through contaminated surfaces and materials.
As such, people have been advised to wash hands regularly with soap, avoid contact with body fluids of sick persons, including sexual intercourse, and avoid contact with wild animals or those found dead.
Mimi Mefo Info