To prevent the spread of Lassa Fever, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is advising the general public, particularly healthcare providers, to follow infection prevention and control protocols.
There are currently 13 active cases of Lassa fever in Ghana, with one death.
The Ghana Health Service said it is tracing 56 people who had contact with those infected with the virus.
The GMA acknowledged the presence of the fever in Ghana in a statement dated March 1, 2023, and advised individuals to strictly adhere to the safety protocols.
“The virus spreads to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with the urine or feces of mice. It also spreads from one person to the other through direct contact with bodily fluids e.g. urine, blood, feces, or contaminated clothes and beddings of an infected person”.
It warned that failure to follow the protocols would have dire consequences.
“This risk of spread among health professionals is high when infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols are not adhered to during the care of patients”.
The symptoms of Lassa Fever are similar to those of other feverish conditions, but the consequences are severe.
Also Read: 12 new cases of Lassa fever confirmed in Ghana
Sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, and abdominal pain are common symptoms, and severe cases may result in bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina, or stomach.
As a result, the GMA advised its members “to adhere strictly to IPC protocols, especially regarding the use of PPEs at all times and ensure all other members of the care team do same. In particular, wearing facemasks at all times at work, frequent handwashing or use of hand sanitizers, use of gloves and avoidance of contact with bodily fluids.”