Guinean health officials have confirmed the first case of Marburg in West Africa, a highly infectious disease related to the virus that causes Ebola.
The virus needed to be “stopped in its tracks,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Fruit bats transmit the Marburg virus disease to humans, which spreads through bodily fluids.
Fever and bleeding disorders are common symptoms of this severe, often fatal illness.
Samples taken from the patient, who has since died in Guinea, were tested in the country’s laboratories, and the Marburg virus was found to be present.
The virus, according to WHO’s Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has the potential to spread far and wide.
People who may have come into contact with the man are being sought, and the systems in place in Guinea and neighboring countries to control recent Ebola outbreaks are being reactivated in response to the Marburg virus.