Ghana Announces Marburg Outbreak

    Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images [via Forbes]

    The Facts

    • On Sun., Ghana announced its first outbreak of the deadly Marburg virus - an infectious viral hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola.

    • The virus is transmitted from fruit bats to humans and is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of infected people.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Zoonotic outbreaks in Africa is a growing problem that needs to be addressed with a multi-sectoral effort. Experts in human, animal, and environmental health all need to work together to prevent, identify and respond to outbreaks across the continent.

    Narrative B

    There is no need to panic. While this new outbreak is worrying and must be taken seriously, it was identified quickly and health officials are acting appropriately to contain it. The risk of Marburg spreading outside of the Ashanti region of Ghana is very low.

    Cynical narrative

    Welcome to the "Pandemicene" era of Earth's history. By completely rewiring the globe's network of animal viruses, human-caused climate change is creating a new age of dangerous diseases. This worrying future is already here and will be difficult to address.

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