General News of Thursday, 8 April 2010
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ghana Health Service, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health have warned of a threat of possible outbreak of Influenza H1N1 (Swine Flu) in Ghana.
A statement signed by the NADMO Coordinator, Kofi Portuphy, said the threat was heightened by the recent sporadic outbreaks of the disease in a number of schools in some regions leading to their closure.
Those affected include Merton Primary School, Tema Parents Association, Achimota Basic School, Lincoln Community School and American International School, all in the Greater Accra Region.
Others are Okuapeman Secondary School in the Eastern Region, Nankpanduri Senior High School in the Northern Region and Nfantsipim School and Ayipey in the Central Region.
The statement said minors and children were the vulnerable groups, and added that those from the affected schools might be incubating the disease without showing any signs or symptoms and could easily infect others.
?Due to the mode of transmission, crowding at social events, especially for children coming from different schools, would be highly fertile grounds for easy spread of the disease to family members, friends, and the community,? it said.
The statement, therefore, cautioned the general public to minimize crowding at social events, especially those meant for children.
It reminded the public that transmission of the disease was from human to human, through droplets released during coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces contaminated with body fluids secreted by infected persons and touching the eyes nose and mouth without washing hands.
The signs and symptoms of the disease include coughing, sneezing, fever, chits, running nose, headache, vomiting, sore throat and body aches, and complications may lead to pneumonia and difficulty in breathing.
The statement said an effective way of preventing infection was through observance of good personal hygiene by washing hands with soap and water as often as possible, especially after touching surfaces and hand shakes.
Meanwhile from Mpraeso, Agnes Opoku Sarpong reports that the pandemic has broken out at the Mpraeso Senior High School in the Eastern Region with two students confirmed as having the virus, out of 33 suspected cases.