Ghana Health Service (GHS) is informing the general populace and regions administering health related supports on the report they received from some West Africa countries.
Breaking the news in general, the Ghana Health Service said they received a report on the outbreak of Lassa Fever in some countries in the West Africa sub-region namely Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo.
CAUSES OF LASSA FEVER
Lassa Fever is caused by a virus called Lassa virus transmitted from Mastomys rats to humans primarily through food or items contaminated with the rats faeces or urine.
According to the Ghana Health Service, human-to-human transmission can also occur to a lesser extent in instances of direct contact with fluids, blood, and secretions of infected individuals.
However, the Ghana Health Service made it crystal clear that the given proximity of these countries both geographically and through travel, it is important that heightened surveillance is implemented to ensure the prompt identification and appropriate investigation of any suspected case.
Further, they stated that in line with 3rd Edition of Ghana’s Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) Strategy, the following case definition are to be applied in suspecting and investigating for Lassa Fever:
1. SUSPECTED CASE OF LASSA FEVER
The health service alerted on having an unusual feeling accompanied by some related symptoms specified below and how to treat confirmed case as well. Illness with gradual onset with one or more of the following:
Malaise, fever, headache, sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia, chest pain hearing loss and of contact with excreta of rodents or with a case of Lassa Fever.
2. CONFIRMED CASE OF LASSA FEVER
A suspected case that is laboratory confirmed (positive IgM antibody, PCR, or virus isolation or epidemiologically linked to a laboratory confirmed case.
Adding, the Ghana Health Service stated emphatically that “all suspected cases of Lassa Fever should be investigated in line with protocol outlined in Ghana’s IDSR Technical Guidelines with strict adherence to infection preventive and control protocol Samples should be disputed immediately to the Noguchi Memorial for Medical Research for investigation.