Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has declared the outbreak of Lassa Fever over after recording 27 confirmed cases and one fatality.
The health authority, in a press statement, indicated that the last confirmed case of Lassa Fever was managed and discharged on March 10, 2023.
GHS Director-General, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye in the statement indicated that the maximum follow-up period of 42 days has elapsed since the last confirmed case of Lassa Fever was discharged, indicating the end of the outbreak.
“Subsequently, the Ghana Health Service declares the end of the Lassa Fever Outbreak in line with the WHO-recommended mandatory 42 days post-Lassa Fever surveillance countdown period from when the last case was discharged,” he stated.
Following the confirmation of two Lassa Fever cases in the Greater Accra Region, the GHS said 25 additional cases were recorded between February 24 and March 1, 2023, making a total of 27 confirmed cases including one death.
The first case was a female trader resident in Accra who was referred to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) with difficulty in breathing and general rashes. She also passed bloody stools on admission and died within five hours.
The second case was a female healthcare worker who was a contact of the first case. She was managed and discharged at the Ghana Infectious Disease Centre (GIDC). The last confirmed case was also managed at the GIDC and discharged on March 10, 2023.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said following the declaration of the outbreak, the National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) was activated to coordinate the response activities and to provide direction.
“The Greater Accra Regional and District Public Health Emergency Management Committees (PHEMCs) were also activated to coordinate the response at the regional and district level,” he said.
Going forward, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye entreated the public to reduce the risk of disease spread from wildlife to humans by avoiding contact with wildlife, especially rats, and also “Store leftover foods appropriately, in order to prevent rats from coming into contact with them, improve cleanliness in homes and especially our kitchens, avoid direct or close contact with persons who are suspected of having Lassa Fever or any other infectious disease,” he said.
He further called on the public to undertake regular hand washing after visiting patients in health facilities, before eating, and after using the toilet, to avoid infections.
“We urge all health workers to apply strictly, the universal infection prevention and control measures at all times, including wearing gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment when taking care of patients,” he said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri