The medical terms may have been ambiguous for the layman but the Influenza H1N1 said to have led to the demise of students at KUMACA is called Swine Flu. The Ghana Health Service has warned of an ongoing outbreak of confirmed Swine Flu (H1N1) in the country.
This follows the outbreak of the same disease at the Kumasi Academy Senior High School (KUMACA) in the Ashanti Region; which claimed about 13 lives within the past 7 months.
It had been a period of fear and panic following what many called mysterious deaths involving four students of KUMACA in the past week. The outbreak which begun November saw the death of 14 students out of 44 reported cases.
Speculations of food poisoning, diabolic attacks and lots more made their way to the media, engulfing the entire nation in paranoia.
But after several tests, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyenman-Manu recently confirmed that four students who died at KUMACA died from Influenza A also known as Swine flu.
Here are some facts you need to know about the disease.
What is Swine Flu
Swine Flu or H1NI Flu is caused by a virus. The name swine flu emerged as a result of the fact that people contracted this kind of flu after coming in contact with infected pigs.
Over time, people contracted this disease without necessarily having to get a direct contact with a piggy. This became a “new” virus known as the H1NI Virus.
- Sudden onset of fever,
- General weakness
- Cough or a sore throat
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Mode of Transmission
Swine Flu is an airborne disease. It can be contracted even when standing next to an infected person who sneezes or coughs on you without covering the mouth and nose.
- Get vaccinated
- Wash your hands thoroughly under running water after a handshake or simply use hand sanitizers.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after coming in direct contact (with your hands) with people.
- Avoid overcrowded places.
Swine Flu May Spread Rapidly
In a statement issued by the Deputy Director of Public Health Dr O.K. Afreh in Accra, it was revealed that some parents, during the outbreak, took their exposed children home from school.
This move could expose the students to anyone that they may come into contact with and transmission may be on course. This is why the health service has cautioned the public to be on the alert.