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Health News of Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Source: GNA

Tema records 39 Swine Flu cases

Tema, March 24,GNA - A total of 39 HINI cases, a respiratory disease popularly known as Swine Flu, were recorded by the Tema Health Directorate as at Sunday.

Out of the 134 phlegm specimen sent by the Directorate to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for test, 95 tested negative, while the 39 returned positive.

Dr. Mrs. Ernestina Mensah-Quainoo, Tema Metropolitan Health Director, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said those affected were children from six schools in the Metropolis. She said the schools were located at Tema Manhean, Tema Communities Six, Eight and 11, as well as Sakumono.

The Metro Health Director indicated that anti virals, Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which is one of the effective medicines for the disease had been administered to the affected children and those who they share physical contact with.

She assured parents and residents not to panic, as the Directorate had in stock enough Tamiflu to control the disease in the Metropolis. Dr. Mrs. Mensah-Quainoo noted that to collectively find control measures on the outbreak, her outfit organized a stakeholders' meeting on Tuesday.

The Health Director said, the stakeholders included representatives from the Metropolitan Education Directorate, various Security Agencies, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), and the Kpone and Tema Traditional Councils.

She pleaded with residents, school children and teachers, to desist from stigmatizing affected people and their relatives but rather encourage people with the symptoms to seek for early medical care from any of the public health institutions in the Metropolis.

Dr. Mrs. Mensa-Quainoo also entreated the public to regularly wash their hands with soap and water, or rub their hands with alcohol when available, in order to avoid contracting the disease. HINI is a disease caused by a virus, and affects the respiratory system. Its symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and headaches.The other symptoms are chills, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhoea.