Ghana on Thursday reported two suspected cases of Marburg virus.
The two people later died after testing positive for the virus; a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola.
The samples have been taken to the Institut Pasteur in Senegal for further tests, said Dr Francis Kasolohe, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) representative in Ghana.
“The two patients (unrelated) from the southern Ashanti region – showed symptoms including diarrhoea, fever, nausea and vomiting. They had been taken to a district hospital in the Ashanti region,” he said.
If the cases are confirmed, this would be only the second outbreak of Marburg in West Africa. The first ever case of the virus was detected last year in Guinea, with no further cases identified.
“Preparations for a possible outbreak response are being set up swiftly as further investigations are underway,” the WHO said.
Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads between humans through bodily fluids.
No vaccine or treatments exist and those diagnosed with Marburg are usually advised to drink plenty of water as doctors treat a patient’s specific symptoms.