Aug. 13, 2021 — A virus known as “Ebola’s deadly cousin” has been spotted for the first time in West Africa.
The Marburg virus, which causes a severe disease that is in the same virus family that causes Ebola, has been identified in southwest Guinea near the borders of Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.
The region also faced a deadly Ebola outbreak this year that ended in June, according to the WHO statement.
It can be hard to tell the difference between Marburg and other tropical diseases, like malaria, because symptoms are similar, according to the statement.
Death rates range between 24% and 88%, depending on things like the type of care an infected person receives, the WHO says.
The Ministry of Health, CDC, WHO, and others are working to prevent further spread of the virus through efforts like contact tracing and watching for cases in health care facilities and communities.
Other disease outbreaks have caused problems in Guinea due to the country’s shaky health care system.
But the WHO said experience in handling other mass outbreaks, including COVID-19, helped in the quick response to control the spread of the Marburg virus.