|Audio Attachment:Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Elias Sory, says so far 40 cases of H1N1, otherwise known as Swine flu, have been confirmed in the country out of over 300 reported cases nationwide.|
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Elias Sory, says so far 40 cases of H1N1, otherwise known as Swine flu, have been confirmed in the country out of over 300 reported cases nationwide.
According to Dr. Elias Sory, the high number of reported cases was as a result of seasonal changes and the onset of the harmattan.
16 students of the prestigious Lincoln Community School in Accra got infected with the deadly H1N1 or swine flu virus, forcing health and education authorities closed down the school over the weekend.
Speaking to Kwami Sefa-Kayi on Peace Fm’s flagship programme “Kokrokoo”, Dr. Elias Sory admitted that, “the number of cases recorded exceeded the containment number that is usually treated in our facility,” hence the decision to close down the school in order to curtail the spread of more cases of swine flu.
Swine flu is a deadly respiratory disease caused by a strain of the influenza type A virus known as H1N1. The virus, which originates from pigs, was first detected in Mexico in April this year.
Ghana recorded its first case of the disease in August and so far health officials say, of the cases reported no death has been recorded.
Investigations are still underway to unravel how the outbreak hit the school, but Dr. Elias Sory was of the view that the possibility of a student contracting the virus from outside the country cannot be discounted.
“A few weeks back someone had a case from there. Again there was an international festival in the school…Whatever it is this is a case of someone who might have contracted it from outside (overseas), came down and passed it onto the others…that is why we had to close it down, because in this case we were getting indigenous transmission…,” he told Peace Fm.
According to him, the GHS is monitoring the situation and was hopeful that by beginning of next week (Monday) the situation would have normalized.
Aside the closure of the school, the GHS Director-General also shed light on other containment measures at the Lincoln International School.
“We are treating every person. They are all at home, the whole school has been targeted for treatment; we’ve given every person, in this case we don’t know how many people will come down, so they are all under treatment, we have given drugs to the school. Infact, it is a very good school and they have been very cooperative. They have within a short time informed parents about what was happening and the school clinic is doing well, we’ve trained all the nurses…so it well on course regarding containment,” he stated.
"Other Cases & Prevention"
Asked if he can substantiate reports of swine flu cases at the Children’s Hospital and Nyaho Clinic, all in Accra, Dr. Sory said, his surveillance unit had not brought him up to speed on that.
Whiles advising the general public to visit a health facility to check their status, Dr. Sory also called for the observation of good personal hygiene, most especially during the Harmattan period and the on-set of winter season in Europe and the USA.
“If you are afflicted by any kind of flu, you don’t know whether it is H1N1 or seasonal flu, it is only good that you report to the nearest health facility for examination and if possible to take a sample…just taking a little throat swap can help determine whether you have H1N1. So we all have to be very much aware of what is happening around us…if we don’t have the co-operation of the public, we cannot do anything about it,” he added.
Source: Alex Ofei/Peacefmonline/Ghana
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