New cases of a deadly hemorrhagic fever have been detected in Cameroon, after a deadly outbreak was declared in neighbouring Equatorial Guinea.
Cameroonian authorities detected two suspected cases of Marburg disease in Olamze, a border commune, the public health delegate for the region, Robert Mathurin Bidjang, said on Tuesday.
Equatorial Guinea officially declared its first outbreak of Marburg, an illness similar to Ebola, on Monday. It quarantined more than 200 people and restricted movement last week in its Kie-Ntem province, where the fever was first detected.
The Marburg virus causes a highly infectious disease that can have a fatality rate of up to 88 per cent, according to the WHO. There are no approved vaccines or antiviral treatments to treat it.
The small Central African country has so far reported nine deaths as well as 16 suspected cases of the disease which causes fever, fatigue and blood-stained vomit and diarrhoea, according to the WHO.
The World Health Organisation said earlier it was increasing its epidemiological surveillance in Equatorial Guinea and re-deploying COVID-19 teams to the area.
“Surveillance in the field has been intensified,” said George Ameh, WHO’s country representative in Equatorial Guinea.
“Contact tracing, as you know, is a cornerstone of the response. We have […] redeployed the COVID-19 teams that were there for contact tracing and quickly retrofitted them to really help us out.”
“We’re working on a 30-day response plan where we should be able to quantify what are the exact measures and quantify what are the exact needs,” Ameh said.
Neighbouring Cameroon had restricted movement along the border to avoid contagion.
“On the 13 of February, we had two suspected cases. These are two 16-year-old children, a boy and a girl, who have no previous travel history to the affected areas in Equatorial Guinea,” Bidjang said at a meeting in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde.
Forty-two people who came into contact with the two children have been identified and contact tracing was ongoing, he added.