A strange disease confirmed to be a seasonal flu– A H3N2 has attacked students of three senior high schools (SHS) in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality in the Eastern Region.
A source confirmed to the Ghanaian Times that a total of 126 students of Krobo Girls SHS, Akuse Methodist SHS and Legacy Girls College, a private SHS within the municipality, have been quarantined while a team of health officials from Accra and the region together with the district health personnel are treating them.
Out of the total, 100 cases were recorded at Krobo Girls SHS, 10 at Akuse Methodist SHS and 16 were recorded at the Legacy SHS.
Out of the 100 students quarantined at Krobo Girls SHS, 25 have been treated and discharged, while the others are undergoing surveillance test.
Meanwhile, management of Legacy SHS has organised their own medical team who are attending to the patients.
The source told the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview that the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Simon Tetteh visited Krobo Girls SHS on Sunday at about 2pm to assess the situation, but was not allowed entry into the quarantine room.
He was rather told to come back yesterday, as the medical team would be available to brief him.
Efforts to reach the MCE via telephone proved futile as at the time of filing this report.
Some parents who had information about the outbreak and rushed to the school seeking to take their wards home, were also denied access.
The source said the medical teams have managed to stabilise the situation.
Meanwhile, a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service and signed by Dr Asiedu Bekoe, the Head of Surveillance Unit confirmed the outbreak.
The release read “The Ghana Health Service (GHS) received a report of unusually high number of suspected flu cases in three (3) secondary schools (Akuse Methodist Secondary School, Krobo Girls Secondary School and Legacy School (Private)) in Lower-Manya-Krobo District of Eastern Region on Thursday 31st October, 2019.”
The statement said experts from the national and regional levels were dispatched to support the affected districts, to verify and assess the situation and provide response actions as appropriate.
“The teams have met with the respective school authorities and took samples from affected students for laboratory testing. The test confirmed seasonal flu Type-A H3N2 which responds well to current treatment regime for flu management.”
“The affected students were given the needed medication and told to stick to common hygienic practices such as washing of hands with soap under running water and observe common cough etiquette such as covering your mouth with a handkerchief before you cough or sneeze to prevent further spread,” the statement added.
All the affected students have responded well to treatment and are doing very well as at today, “Sunday 3rd November, 2019” and normalcy has been restored to the school, students are going about their daily routines, the statement said.
Dr Bekoe however said, the situation is under control and encouraged parents not to panic, but rather advise their wards to co-operate with the health and school authorities, practice and enhance personal hygiene and cough etiquette as suggested by the health teams.
Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 (A/H3N2) is a subtype of viruses that causes influenza (flu). H3N2 viruses can infect birds and mammals. In birds, humans, and pigs, the virus has mutated into many strains.
FROM DAVID KODJO, ODUMASE-KROBO