Health alert: Strange disease outbreak in Savannah Region …8 people die so far

At least eight people have died from what health authorities suspect to be Yellow Fever (YF) disease in the Savannah Region.

The affected persons are nomads from selected communities in the West and North Gonja districts of the region who are alleged to have never been vaccinated against YF.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), it was awaiting final laboratory confirmation as earlier tests for other ViralHaemorrhagic Fevers like Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Zika, had all proved negative.

“The GHS has received interim laboratory results of an unusual disease from the Savannah Region that has led to the death of eight people.

The disease is presumed to be YF and samples have been shipped for final confirmation,” a statement signed by the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said.

It asked all persons from that part of the region who have fever, general weakness, headache, nausea and vomiting to immediately report to the nearest health facility.

Meanwhile, a team of experts from Ghana Health Service, Center for Disease Control (CDC) Ghana, World Health Organisation (WHO) Ghana, and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) have been dispatched to support the region to investigate and institute appropriate control measures.

“We will keep the general public updated following the outcome of the investigations and also on thefinal laboratory confirmation,” it said.

A person with YF may have fever and jaundice in the early stages and later on bleed from any of the body openings namely the nose and mouth, bloody stools and vomiting of blood.

It can also be contracted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito and prevention is mainly by taking the Yellow Fever vaccine or preventing the bite of a mosquito.

A Yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong immunity to an individual.

The GHS has advised the general public to take the following actions against the disease by getting yourself vaccinated, avoid mosquito bites by wearing clothing that cover all parts of the body.

“Report to the nearest health facility if you have a fever and especially when you have yellowish discoloration of your eyes”, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Savannah Regional Director of GHS, Dr Chrisantus Kubio  has advised residents of the region to report any strange disease to the health facilities for early treatment.

FROM ABDUL MAJEED YAKUBU, TAMALE AND ABIGAIL ANNOH, ACCRA

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