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Health Alert Ghana issues Dengue fever alert

A statement signed by Dr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, Deputy Director (Public Health) for the Western Regional Health Directorate of the GHS received the alert from the World Health Organisation.

  • Published:
play Ghana issues Zika and Dengue alert

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has issued an emergency health alert following the outbreak of Dengue fever in Burkina Faso and 'rumoured' discovery of Zika virus in Nigeria.

A statement signed by Dr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, Deputy Director (Public Health) for the Western Regional Health Directorate of the GHS received the alert from the World Health Organisation.

"The Ghana Health Service has received notification and alert of Dengue Fever alert in Burkina Faso from WHO country office. By copy of this mail, please be informed and keep alert. Kindly enhance surveillance and update your respective preparedness and response plans for Dengue and other abro viruses."

The statement added that the GHS has “received rumours of Zika virus circulating in Nigeria”, adding that the public would be informed of any further developments.

GHS says it has informed authorities at health facilities in the country to “enhance surveillance and update prospective preparedness and response for plans for dengue (and other arboviruses: dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, and Yellow Fever)”.

“Blood samples of suspected cases should be sent in triple package protection with appropriate and adequately filled case based form and sent to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) for laboratory tests,” the statement said.

Dengue Fever

  • Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection.
  • The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue.
  • The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. About half of the world's population is now at risk.
  • Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.
  • Severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries.
  • There is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%.
  • Dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures.
  • A dengue vaccine has been licensed by several National Regulatory Authorities for use in people 9-45 years of age living in endemic settings.

Zika virus

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Links to other neurological complications are also being investigated
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