A total of 13 contact persons have been traced to the confirmed Monkeypox disease case, which resulted in the death of the victim in Bolgatanga, Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, the Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has said.
He disclosed the patient was first seen on July 22, 2022, at the Regional Hospital with a history of fever and skin rash, and the sample was taken on the same day for confirmation at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra.
“We received feedback on the 28th of July 2022, indicating the sample tested positive for Monkeypox disease. Unfortunately, the case died on the 26th of July 2022.”
“This is the first confirmed case in the region,” Dr Dzotsi said in a signed press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.
Dr Dzotsi explained that Monkeypox is a viral disease which presents with fever, headache, backache, weakness, and muscle pain, and is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person, animal or material contaminated with the virus.
“Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding of an infected person,” the Regional Director said.
He said the GHS in the Region had put in place measures to contain the spread of the virus, noting that all contacts to the confirmed case were monitored daily, while health professionals were trained and sensitized on the disease.
Dr Dzotsi added that the Regional Directorate had sent outbreak alerts to all health facilities across the Districts and Municipalities, and stepped-up surveillance on the disease at all health facilities and communities.
Awareness creation and social mobilization on the disease, he said, were intensified, stressing that all Public Health Emergency Management Committees, Public Health Emergency Rapid Response Teams and Case Management Teams were activated.
The Regional Director said all holding and isolation centres were also activated and ready to manage cases of the disease.
He urged members of the public to remain calm and ensure they avoid skin-to-skin, face-to-face and mouth-to-skin contact with infected persons and animals, wash hands under running water with soap or use alcohol hand sanitiser.
He further entreated residents in the Region to clean objects, surfaces, bedding and towels regularly, wear face masks if they could not avoid close contact, and when handling bedding, towels and clothes of an infected person.
“Avoid contact with dead animals, report to the nearest clinic or hospital if you have fever and skin rashes,” Dr Dzotsi admonished residents.