Ebola is back; Ghana Health Service issues alert

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it has received a health alert on the outbreak of Ebola in the Central African country of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has subsequently called on the public to be cautious and revive all known preventive measures to avert any possible outbreak in Ghana.

According to Dr Antony Nsiah Asare, Director General of the GHS, the alert was received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He said the GHS has was putting all its surveillance in place and will continue to educate the public about the early signs which include fever, headache, muscle pain and chills as well as later symptoms where a person may experience internal bleeding resulting in vomiting or coughing blood.

He said in as much as Ghana has the means to contain it should an outbreak be reported, the world is continuously becoming a global village so no one can take a chance and say it is far away.

Below is a copy of the press statement

Press Release

Confirmed cases of Ebola in the democratic republic of Congo; 09 may 2018

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has confirmed and declared an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). According to the World Health Organization, as of 8th May 2018, two (2) out of five (5) five samples collected from suspected patients tested positive for EVD.

In the light of this development, the Ministry of Health / Ghana Health Service have instituted the following measures:

• Sent alerts on the outbreak to all Regional Directors of Health Service, Chief Executives of Teaching Hospitals and all other relevant agencies and institutions.

• Enhanced surveillance on EVD and other Acute Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers in general

• Initiated mechanisms to update preparedness and response plans at all levels for EVD

• Initiated mechanisms to sensitize the health staff and create necessary public awareness.

We would be very grateful if you could use your medium to educate the general public on the disease with the attached information. Attached are key facts on Ebola.

We count on your usual support.

General information on Ebola virus disease (EVD) Ebola Virus Disease formerly called Ebola Haemorrhagic fever is a potentially fatal disease caused by the Ebola virus. The disease is transmitted to humans usually from wild animals but can spread from person to person in the humans. Death rate from the disease ranges from 25 to 90% (averagely 50%). The incubation period is between 2 to 21 days. Transmission of the disease does not occur until patient develops signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms

• Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

• Subsequently, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash,

• Late signs include bleeding tendencies (gum bleeding, bloody diarrhoea, bleeding under the skin, bloody urine and from all other body openings) and multiple organ failure

How does Ebola spread?

• Ebola can spread from one person to another (through broken skin or mucous membranes) on contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

• Close contact with infected persons without wearing the appropriate protective clothing

• Contact with dead bodies, body fluids, blood etc. from an infected person who died from Ebola

• Sexual transmission can potentially occur

Can Ebola be treated? • Currently, there is no cure for Ebola, and treatment is mostly supportive and symptomatic.

? People with Ebola receive supportive care as rehydration with oral or intravenous infusions and treatment of specific symptoms such as fever, improve survival

HOW CAN EBOLA BE PREVENTED? Ebola can be prevented by:

• Avoiding contact with infected wildlife as monkeys, chimpanzee bats, porcupine, antelope etc.

• Avoiding contact with blood and other body fluids and discharges from an infected person using appropriate clothing and equipment e.g. gloves etc.

• Burial of persons who die from Ebola by properly trained persons

For more information:

1. Head of Public Relations Unit, GHS: 0208118787

2. Head of PR Unit, MOH:

3. Director of Public Health, GHS 0244417911

4. Deputy Dir (PH) & Head, Disease Surveillance Department: GHS (0244643142

ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH / GHANA HEALTH SERVICE

Source:Ghanaweb.com

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