Ghana is fully prepared to combat any outbreak of the new Marburg virus, which has now been detected in the nearby Ivory Coast, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service has said.

Addressing the media Sunday, Dr Patrick Kuma-Abogye explained that the country has primed its response system to deal with the virus first detected in Guinea.

“The Ghana Health Service and its partners have initiated systems and have submitted structures that are in response, all our rapid response teams, borders and port health teams have been alerted with the fact that there’s still Marburg and Ebola.

“Alert has been sent to the regions and districts about Marburg preparations. We already have some discussions with our regional leaders to ensure that they start preparing for that,” he said.

He continued that “the good thing is that some of the interventions that are currently in place can also be used to respond to this.

“Ghana has the capacity to diagnose. Noguchi can diagnose both Ebola and the Marburg disease, and public education and sensitization have been initiated.”

Dr Kuma-Aboagye also noted that surveillance systems at the various ports of entry will be strengthened.

“We are going to heighten the public health surveillance across our borders, especially the Western border where we have Cote D’Ivoire who have recorded cases.

“Currently, the border is closed; we have to make sure that those who enter illegally are checked, so we are collaborating with the Immigration Service to ensure that this is done.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the virus is highly infectious and deadly and can spread far and wide.

WHO said the first patient identified in Southern Guinea has already died of the disease in a statement.

Marburg virus disease is said to be in the family of the Ebola Virus and has a case fatality rate of up to 88 per cent.

WHO said it has begun cross-border surveillance, with neighbouring countries put on alert.

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