Lassa Fever Cases Hit 12

Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has announced that 12 new cases of Lassa Fever have been recorded in the country.

This announcement follows further tests which were conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research after the GHS traced 56 contacts of the initial two cases confirmed on Sunday, February 26.

According to the GHS, active cases of Lassa Fever now stand at 13. One person has so far died from the disease.

On Sunday, the GHS mentioned that the first case was 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 is a contact of the fatal case and is currently on admission but is very stable. So far, 56 contacts have been identified and are being followed up by the Ghana Health Service.

Lassa fever (a viral hemorrhagic fever) is endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

It is caused by the Lassa virus and the incubation period is 2-21 days after the virus is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodents (Rats, Mice) urine or faeces.

Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily fluids of a person infected with Lassa fever. Sexual transmission of the Lassa virus has been reported.

By Vincent Kubi