(KRON) — Ghana has declared an outbreak of the Marburg virus disease (MVD) after two people who died in local hospitals tested positive for the virus, according to a statement from World Health Organization (WHO) in Ghana.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), MVD is “a rare but severe hemorrhagic fever which affects both people and non-human primates.” The disease is in the same family as the more commonly known Ebola. Outbreaks of this MVD were first reported in 1967 due to a laboratory outbreak that caused 31 people to become ill. It was later calculated that the mortality rate for some strains of Marburg can be up to 88%, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease is first transmitted from animals or animal tissue to humans. In 2008 this transmission occurred when people came into contact with infected bat feces. Before this year’s Ghana Marburg virus outbreak, the most recent infection of MVD was reported to the CDC when one person contracted the illness in 2021 in Guinea.

What are the symptoms of Marburg virus?

Symptoms can come on quickly after an incubation period that lasts anywhere from 2-21 days. Symptoms can include chills, fever, headace, and muscle aches. Around day five of symptoms people may develop a rash on their chest, back, or stomach. Nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea are all listed as possible symptoms of the illness, according to the CDC.

How is Marburg virus transmitted?

The CDC states Marburg is transmitted via direct contact with the following:

  • Blood or body fluids* (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and semen) of a person who is sick with or died from Marburg virus disease, or
  • Objects contaminated with body fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from Marburg virus disease (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).

To learn more about MVD, please visit the CDC or WHO websites.