YAOUNDE, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Equatorial Guinea has confirmed eight more cases of Marburg, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday, citing the country's Ministry of Health.
"The confirmation of these new cases is a critical signal to scale up response efforts to quickly stop the chain of transmission and avert a potential large-scale outbreak and loss of life," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said in a statement.
According to the WHO, there are now nine laboratory-confirmed cases in the country and 20 probable cases.
Twenty people have died since the outbreak was declared in the country last month.
Marburg is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, and contaminated surfaces and materials.