Health News of Friday, 3 March 2017
The Ghana Health Service has debunked information circulating on social media, suggesting that there is an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Ghana.
A statement signed by the Acting Director General Health Service asking the public to ignore the false information contained in an audio recording, said the same audio popped up as far back in 2015.
“Considering the seriousness of EVD, a highlyinfectious disease that spread quickly from person to person and characterized by the extremely high death rate, the message has high potential to cause fear and panic to the general population if we allow it to circulate without responding to it,” the statement noted.
The general public was therefore implored to stop circulating the audio with the false information.
Below is the statement
FALSE RUMOURS OF EBOLA OUTBREAK IN GHANA
The attention of the Ministry of Health / Ghana Health Service has been drawn to a sound byte (voice audio) circulatingfalse messageon social media that there is an outbreak of Ebola Viral Disease(EVD) in Ghana.
This very piece of false information (same message, delivered by same voice) was circulated in 2015 during the outbreak of Ebola in the sub-region.
This information is FALSE.
The public is hereby advised to ignore any such audio suggesting an outbreak of EVD. Considering the seriousness of EVD, a highlyinfectious disease that spread quickly from person to person and characterized by the extremely high death rate, the message has high potential to cause fear and panic to the general population if we allow it to circulate without responding to it.
The Ministry of Health / Ghana Health Service wish to assure the general population that information within the audio clip indicating that there is Ebola outbreak in Ghana is false and has no basis.
Surveillance on EVD and all other priority diseases is ongoing and no case of EVD has been detected as indicated in the clip. It isextremely difficult and indeed impossible to have a case of EVD and decide to hide it from the general public as the audio suggests.
It is simply impossible to consider hiding case(s) of Ebola as the disease would be spreading to others and naturally come out. We willcontinue to do our best to prevent and protect the nation against the introduction of Ebola and any similar diseases into the country. Furthermore, we wish to assure the general public that,in accordance with the responsibility entrusted on us,the true and exact situation of any unfortunate event oroccurrence related to EVD or any other health hazard would be communicated to the general public accordingly.
The outbreak of EVD in West Africa started in December, 2013 and the sub-region was declared Ebola free by World Health Organisation (WHO)in October, 2015. Globally, atotal of ten(10) countries were affected.
Thankfully Ghana was not among the affected countries, as Ghana never recorded any confirmed case as close as we have been monitoring.
All suspected cases in the country have tested negative for Ebola and other related diseases.
The general Public should continue to adhere to the preventive measures of Ebola and other infectious diseasesincluding regular hand-washing with soap under clean running water.
Finally, we wish to entreat the public to stop circulating these voice audios to avoid unnecessary panic among the general population.
THE AG. DIRECTOR GENERAL
GHANA HEALTH SERVICE