Home Health GHS records no Lassa Fever case since March 10

GHS records no Lassa Fever case since March 10

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Lassa Fever
Lassa Fever

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says, no new cases of Lassa Fever has been reported in the country since March 10 after discharging the last case successfully.

It said, although no cases have been recorded in the last 27 days, it will take 42 days of no case detection before the outbreak is declared over.

The Director of Public Health at the GHS, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe told the Ghana News Agency that a total of 27 Lassa Fever cases with one death was recorded in the outbreak which was declared on February 26, 2023.

The GHS said the cases were discovered due to the institution of control measures including contact tracing testing of all those who had been in close contact with the initial two confirmed cases.

Some contacts were identified during the outbreak and psychological support was provided for all cases and contacts.
The GHS during the outbreak activated several measures including conducting a full-scale environmental impact assessment to stop the further spread of the virus.

The Lassa Fever cases were confirmed by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on 24th February 2023.
Both cases which resided in Accra involved a 40-year-old trader, who was unwell for a period of about two weeks and finally died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

The second case was a contact of the fatal case.
Lassa fever is caused by Lassa virus and the incubation period is 2-21 days.
The virus is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent like rats, mice urine or feces.

The Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids of a person infected with Lassa fever.

Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.

The disease according to the Ghana Health Service could be prevented by avoiding contact with rodents like mice and rats.

The GHS entreats the public to ensure good environmental hygiene and institute measures such as storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households and keeping cats to prevent rodent infestation.

Avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick people.

Symptoms of Lassa fever may include fever and general weakness.

People may later present with headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain.

In severe cases, there may be bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina, or stomach. Death usually occurs within 14 days of onset in fatal cases.

Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever, is endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
Ghana recorded its first case in 2011.

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