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GHS to tackle meningitis scourge

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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) assured the people of the Upper West Region that it was committed to bringing the outbreak under control.

It noted that though there was no vaccine for the strain causing this current outbreak, effective treatment was available.

“The need to emphasize this is paramount to ensure early reporting and initiation of treatment that can significantly improve outcome and improve survival rate,” it noted.

The GHS explained that investigations had indicated that the high case fatality was due to late reporting.

It, therefore, advised residents of the affected areas to report early to the nearest health facility so the appropriate treatment could be administered to improve survival rate.

In addition, it said a team of experts, led by the head of Disease Control, had been deployed to the Upper West Region to provide technical assistance and support the region to intensify response.

Meningitis

Meningitis is an acute febrile illness, involving the covering of the brain and spinal cord (meninges). It is characterised by fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, stiffness of the neck, altered consciousness, convulsion/seizures and coma.

The illness is particularly endemic in the northern parts of the country, where there is usually an annual surge of cases during the dry season.

The current outbreak in the Upper West Region is caused mainly by a new strain of bacteria – Neisseria meningitides serotype X – which has no vaccine, and Streptococcus pneumoniae which has an average case fatality of 40%.

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