The Ministry of Health together with the Ghana Health Service says it has received notification with great concern confirmed Dengue fever outbreak in some countries within the sub-region.
As at August 2016, Burkina Faso recorded suspected cases of Dengue a total of 1,061 probable (Dengue Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) positive) cases out of 1,266 suspected cases were reported with a cumulative total of 15 deaths (CFR 1.2%) as at November 12. 2016.
All cases have been reported from all 12 districts of Ouagadougou. In addition, two other regions have reported cases, Sahel Region in the north (12 RDT positive cases) and the Hauts-Bassins region in the west (6 RDT positive cases).
The Government of Burkina Faso as well as development partners have initiated response measures to contain the situation. Key interventions being implemented so far among others include field investigations, enhanced surveillance, case management, infection prevention and control, contacts tracing and follow-up and social mobilization / risk communication.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed a multidisciplinary team in the affected areas to support the response.
The most severely affected region / metropolis is Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso with major roads routes and transport links to neighbouring countries and an international airport, as well as frequent movement of populations to and from neighbouring countries including Ghana.
Currently there is no evidence of dengue fever outbreaks in Ghana the MoH stated, however the risk is high, due to the proximity and high density of the vector Aedes mosquito in Ghana.
The Ministry of Health in its press release said it is providing information to the public on the outbreak and the disease in general, what the Ministry of Health is doing to prevent and protect against introduction and spread against the disease, and what people should do to prevent getting infected by Dengue fever.
It highlighted the following activities as having been ensured;
1. Alerts sent to all regions and districts to enhance surveillance for early detection, sensitize health staff and provide public awareness.
2. Enhanced Surveillance at all levels.
3. Public education on signs and symptoms and prevention.
4. Conducted Entomological Assessment in the affected areas which indicates the presence of Aedes mosquitoes.
The Ministry of Health thus request intensive public awareness of the disease and direct health workers at all levels to kindly to take this up for action.
It further charged the leadership in various health regions and districts to initiate processes for public awareness creation on the disease and related complications, and institute systems for enhanced surveillance, facilities for case management, holding areas and strict adherence for infection prevention and control at all health facilities.
All citizens are to improve environmental conditions to prevent mosquito breeding and protect against mosquito bites to prevent Dengue fever, the MOH instructed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently does not recommend any restriction of travel and trade to the affected country based on the information available on this Dengue fever outbreak.
Dengue is an acute fever is caused by a virus either presents as a febrile illness marked by sudden onset of high grade fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints. Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) the second type is a more severe, with bleeding and sometimes shock occurs, leading to death.
It is most serious in children. Symptoms of bleeding usually occur after 3-5 days of fever.
Treatment is to mostly supportive care with re-hydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is no specific medicine for the treatment of the disease. However proper and early treatment can relieve the symptoms and prevent complications and death.
Read More about Dengue Fever here
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.