Health News of Monday, 11 February 2013
A strange sickness, manifesting in excessive coughing, sneezing and chest pains has broken out in some coastal communities at Aflao, in the Volta Region.
So far about 3,000 people in Atisukope, Atorkukope, Mifetukope and Abeliakope communities are affected by the disease.
Unverified reports indicate that people living in parts of neighbouring Lome, Togo, have also been affected by the disease.
Only 10 people are on record to have formally reported with the conditions at the Ketu-South District Hospital, where they were treated, and others afflicted were resorting to self-medication.
The Ghana News Agency learned that some personnel of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Immigration Service and other security officers at the Aflao border had also been affected.
Other manifestations of the disease are pains in the ribs, headache, feverishness, irritating and stuffy nostrils and sleep disturbances.
The cause of the strange disease, said to have been noticed last Friday, at around 1500 hours, is not yet known, but some people are linking it to the dumping of chemical waste in the ocean.
Mr Joe Degle, Ketu-South District Director of the Ghana Health Service, said the Service had been closely following the story, and that a visit by a team to the affected areas on Monday, indicated a drop in the number of affected people.
Mr Doe Kornyo, Ketu-South Municipal Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), who led a team from the Disease Control Unit of NADMO from Accra to the affected areas, told journalists that the organisation was monitoring the situation.
Mr Roger Ayivi, a victim, appealed to the authorities to investigate the disease, which he said could be airborne, to avert a calamity.
Meanwhile local residents are claiming to have spotted a smoky fireball moving in the atmosphere in the night before the outbreak of the disease.