Lassa Fever Cases Rise To 14 With 97 Traced Contacts
The number of confirmed Lassa fever cases has risen to 14 from the initial two while 97 people have been identified to have had contact with them.
The newly detected cases are all contacts from the first two cases according to the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The first two cases were confirmed in the Greater Accra Region by the Nogucchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research on 24th February 2023.
According to the GHS, the first case was confirmed in a 40-year-old trader who was unwell for two weeks and subsequently died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The second case, the GHS said, was a contact case of the fatal one while 56 contacts had been traced as of Sunday, February 26.
A statement from the GHS on Tuesday, February 28 indicated that 12 new cases have been detected among the close contacts, bringing the number of active cases to 13.
Giving an update on the infected persons, the GHS said they were all in stable condition.
“All 13 cases are alive and in stable condition and are being managed in a designated health facility.”
Currently, it said 97 contacts have been identified with more yet to be traced in the country’s capital.
Suspected Case In Central Region
Meanwhile, it said a suspected case has been identified in the Central Region with contacts being traced and monitored pending confirmation.
The GHS has advised the public to avoid contact with rodents; avoid blood or fluid contact with the sick; and ensure a hygienic environment.
About Lassa Fever
Lassa fever is caused by the Lassa virus transmitted from Mastomys rats to humans primarily through food or items contaminated with rat faeces or urine. Human-to-human transmission can also occur to a lesser extent in instances of direct contact with body fluids, blood, secretions of infected individuals and sexual intercourse.
The illness may exhibit symptoms such as general body pain, fever, headache, sore throat, chest pain, muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, cough, abdominal pain, bleeding from the mouth, nose vagina or stomach and death.
According to the Service, there is no vaccine to protect against the virus, however, there is an antiviral drug which is much more effective when taken earlier.
Symptoms shall be confirmed to be Lassa fever after a positive IgM antibody, PCR, or virus isolation, the GHS said.
The disease is currently endemic in Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Liberia Guinea, Benin, and Mali.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini