Home  »  News

GHS Dispels Lassa Fever Outbreak Scare
Source: Peacefmonline   |   February 13, 2018   |  29 Views
 
 
 
 
 

Related Stories

 
 
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has allayed the fears of the public on the outbreak of Lassa fever, saying its alert was to create the needed awareness so that precautionary measures would be strictly adhered to.

Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, GHS Head of the Disease Surveillance Unit, in a media interview on Monday, said the alertness issued earlier, followed reports of the outbreak of Lassa fever in some neighbouring countries, including Nigeria, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Lassa fever, he explained was an Acute Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) illness, which was endemic in West Africa, with an incubation period of between six to 21 days.

He said although the onset of the disease has non-specific signs and symptoms, it was characterised by fever, general weakness and malaise at its early stages.

This, he said, is followed by headaches, sore throat, muscle, chest and abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, adding that, severe cases may progress to show facial swelling, and bleeding, while shock, seizures, disorientation, as well as coma may be seen in the late stages.

“About 80 per cent of Lassa Fever infections are mild or asymptomatic,” he said and that rodents such as rats served as reservoirs of the virus.

He advised the public to maintain good home, and community hygiene to prevent the breeding of rodents that may infect their food and water with the virus, stay free from rats and block all their hideouts.

“We must ensure proper storage of grains and foodstuffs, dispose proper disposal of garbage, cook all foods thoroughly, keep cats to deter rats and avoid contacts with blood and body fluids whilst caring for sick persons,” he said.
Dr Bekoe also called for regular hand washing with soap under running water, report all forms of fevers immediately to the closest health facilities for diagnoses, and undergo treatment with the appropriate medication. 

He said although Ghana has not yet recorded any case, it was important to ensure alertness of the disease and all Acute Haemorrhagic Fevers in general, enhance surveillance at all ports of entry, and encourage all Regional, District and Teaching Hospitals, including the Mission and Private Facilities, to alert their staff, and further initiate processes to create public awareness.

Presently the Ministry of Health of Nigeria, has confirmed and subsequently declared Lassa fever outbreak which, has affected about 18 States with over 300 recorded cases and 31 deaths. 

The outbreak, he explained, has been on-going for the past six weeks and has necessitated urgent spontaneous national response actions among all neighbouring countries, adding that, Lassa fever outbreak has been recurrent in Nigeria and the current outbreak has affected health workers in some states, he said.

Among other recommendations by the GHS, he said, suspected cases must be treated in isolation, and advised health workers to strictly adhere to regular Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures to prevent and protect persons against possible nosocomial transmission.

He urged all health workers to enhance surveillance, manage suspected cases in specific isolation conditions, send safely packaged blood samples from suspected cases to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) for further laboratory investigations.

He urged all national, regional and district facilities to update their preparedness and response plans for Lassa fever and VHF in general, sensitize the respective staff and create the necessary public awareness.
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
The driver of a tipper truck narrowly escaped death when the front tyre of the truck he was driving...
Mugabe 'Unloved' On His Birthday | February 21, 2018
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, has defended the approval of Martin Amidu...
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
A Health and safety expert and director of PB Protection Centre, Mr Philip Nana Asante has called...
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, has reiterated his position that the house will not be...
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo has called on all Ghanaians to get on board...
kasapafmonline.com | February 21, 2018
Law Professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare, says parliament must order for a regrade of the recent bar...
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
The Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana School of Law, has called...
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
Some concerned farmers have appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to dismiss the...
peacefmonline.com | February 21, 2018
Government has revealed that some 500 young Ghanaians have been left stranded in Dubai. The 500...