The Ghana Health Service (GHS) reported today of two confirmed Lassa fever cases from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on Friday. Both cases reside in Accra.
The first case was a 40-year-old trader, who was unwell for about two weeks and died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
The second case, who is a contact of the fatal case, is currently admitted to the hospital and is in stabile condition.
To date, 56 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up.
Ghana is one of the West African countries where Lassa fever is endemic along with Benin, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever spread through contact with infected rodents or their urine or droppings. Lassa fever can also be spread from person to person through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.
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Symptoms of Lassa fever (fever, chills, headache, and fatigue) develop 1-3 weeks after infection. About 20% of people infected with Lassa fever develop severe illness that can lead to hemorrhaging (bleeding), respiratory distress, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and sometimes death.
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