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Ghana Health Service issues Ebola outbreak alert

By Maame Aba Afful
Ghana Health Service issues Ebola virus alert
Ghana Health Service issues Ebola virus alert

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has issued an alert to all health institutions following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on Tuesday May 8, 2018.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed and declared an outbreak of the disease after two out of five samples collected from suspected Congolese patients tested positive for the Ebola Virus.

Following the announcement, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service(GHS), Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare in a statement has outlined some measures initiated by the authority to deal with the situation.

According to him, the GHS has sent alerts to all Regional Directors of Health Service, Chief Executives of teaching hospitals and all other relevant agencies and institutions; enhanced surveillance on the Ebola virus and other Acute Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers; intiated mechanisms to update preparedness and response plans at all levels, while putting mechanisms in place to sensitize the health staff and create necessary public awareness.

What you need to know about the Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola Virus Disease 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.

Death rate from the disease ranges from 25% to 90%(averagely 50%) with an incubation period between 2 to 21 days.

Symptoms of Ebola Virus

Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, which subsequently leads to 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 person to person through contact with blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials(e.g bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

It also spreads through 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.

Is there a cure for Ebola?

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 to improve survival.

Prevention

Ebola can be prevented by avoiding contact with infected wildlife such as monkeys, chimpanzee bats, porcupine, antelope etc.

Avoid contact with an infected person, using appropriate clothing and equipment.

Burial of persons who die from Ebola is done by professionally trained persons.

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