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MoH urges Ghanaians to keep calm over Lassa Fever

The Ministry of Health has urged the public to be calm following the death of a 26-year-old man from Lassa fever last week.

The deceased was on admission at the Tema General Hospital with general body weakness, severe headaches and profuse vomiting of blood clots.

Prior to his admission, he was said to have traveled through the Eastern, Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions but finally settled at Ashaiman for about a month. Head of Public Relations Unit at the Ghana Health Service, Rebecca Ackwuonu, stated the Ministry of Health is mounting a strict surveillance on people the deceased came into contact with prior to his brief stay at the Tema General Hospital.

“He settled in Ashaiman for about a month trying to look for a job, and the incubation is between two and twenty-one days, so we are limiting it to Tema and Ashaiman, and we have started contacting people already, our surveillance department is doing that now,” she said.

The Ministry said it has already supervised the burial of the deceased.

Ghana was alerted of the disease recently following an outbreak in Nigeria. The World Health Organization (WHO), has said it is teaming up with national and international health agencies to tackle what has been noted to be the country’s biggest outbreak.

The latest figures show 1,081 suspected cases of the disease, including 90 deaths.

This number is more than the 305 cases reported all of last year in Nigeria.

Authorities of the Ghana Health Service have stated they are currently in a meeting to find a solution to the outbreak.

General information on Lass fever

Lassa fever is an Acute Viral Haemorrhagic Fever illness which is endemic in West Africa. The incubation period is 6-21 days.

The onset of the fever has non-specific signs and symptoms but fever, general weakness and malaise have been noted in its early stages.

This is followed by headaches, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains.

Severe cases may progress to show facial swelling, and bleeding.

Shock, seizures, disorientation, and coma may be seen in the late stages.

About 80 % of Lassa Fever infections are mild or asymptomatic.

WHO has said the best way to prevent the disease is by promoting good community hygiene to discourage rodents that spread the disease from entering homes.

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