Pneumococcal Meningitis Breakout Claims 8 Lives in Brong Ahafo Region

Eight people have been confirmed dead in the Brong Ahafo region following an outbreak of Pneumococcal meningitis.

About 30 people have also been hospitalized after they were infected with the deadly pneumococcal meningitis at Brohani in the region.

Pneumococcal meningitis occurs when bacteria invade the bloodstream and infect the membranes protecting the brain and the spinal cord.

Health experts in the area say the latest strain is more contagious than Cerebrospinal Meningitis.

However, the district health director for Tain, Dr. Michael Rockson Adjei in an interview with Starr News said the situation is under control.

We have done a lot by managing the outbreak, this is pneumococcal meningitis not CSM…it kills faster and compared to CSM this is fatal,” Mr. Rockson Adjei said.

According to Dr. Adjei, the outbreak, which started late December last year, has been contained but he further warned it is still contagious. In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Adjei stated,

We recorded a number of strange deaths. In the initial stage, it was an old woman who died on December 2, 2015. 14 days later her grandson fell ill and also died. We could not ascertain the cause of these deaths.”

He further revealed three more people from the community with fever symptoms and headache following which test were conducted it was concluded that Pneumococcal meningitis was the cause of the deaths.

So the clinical department did their evaluation… and it was concluded that it was Pneumococcal meningitis. Similar cases followed from the same community and then the outbreak was declared. So far we have had eight deaths so far.”

He added that the outbreak started around December 24 and urged infected residents to report quickly to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Dr Adjei added the District Health Service had activated their emergency surveillance plan along with community sensitisation following the second death. He said,

After the second death the Public Heath Unit of the District Health Service activated their emergency surveillance plan. We have had a series of Community sensitization at the mosques, houses and churches.

We have also carried out active surveillance search to look out for any outbreaks. About 30 patients are on admission and are responding to treatment.”

Dr. Adjei also outlined first aid procedures for reported cases. He said,

We have asked people to take in more fluids to prevent dehydration. We should desists from smoking and eat healthy. People should also try not spitting openly and should not cough without covering their mouth.”