The Kenyan Ministry of Health has issued an alert on the outbreak of yellow fever in Ghana, requesting passengers who are entering the country (Kenya) from the affected areas to be vaccinated.
“Passengers and crew from a local affected area shall have valid yellow fever vaccination certificates,” a release signed by the Director of Public Health at the Kenyan Health Ministry, Kepha Ombacho, has stated.
He said passengers who arrive in Kenya without valid certificates will have to be under quarantine surveillance for six days.
Mr. Ombacho claims the measures are necessary to secure the public health of the people of Kenya, adding that aircrafts arriving from affected areas will also be disinfected.
Ghana’s Ministry of Health earlier this week confirmed the outbreak of yellow fever and meningitis in the West Gonja and Tain districts of the Northern and the Brong-Ahafo Regions respectively, leading to the death of 10 people.
The head of public relations unit of the ministry, Tony Goodman, said there had been no change in the number of cases and deaths recorded.
Thirty suspected cases with seven deaths have been recorded relating to meningitis in the Tain district, while a total of 12 cases of yellow fever have been reported, out of which three have died since the beginning of 2016.
“It is worthy of note that the responses of the regions and districts so far are appropriate and adequate and we expect these response actions to contain and halt the outbreak. The districts teams have been supported by the regional and national teams in order to contain the spread. There has not been any case for the past two days,” the release indicated.
The Ghanaian public is requested to report early to a health facility if they see any symptoms, because this can significantly improve treatment outcome and chances for survival.
Yellow fever is an acute febrile illness that presents with fever and jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the eyes), muscle pain with prominent backache, and headache. There may be bleeding tendencies.
The disease spreads by the bite of infected mosquitoes (Aedes mosquitoes). Symptoms appear after an incubation period of three to six days following the bite of the mosquitoes. Most patients improve and their symptoms resolve after three to four days.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meninges). Causes include bacterial, viral, parasites and even chemical. Transmission or spread is by direct contact, including respiratory droplets from nose and throat of infected persons or carriers.
Signs and symptoms of meningitis include sudden onset of severe headache, fever, vomiting, neck stiffness and photophobia (dislike for light). Other symptoms include lethargy, coma and convulsions. In babies, there may be bulging of the anterior fontanelle (soft part of the bead).
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri