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Swine flu outbreak at KUMACA contained – Health officials

Health Officials in the Ashanti Region say they have contained the H1N1 epidemic at the Kumasi Academy.

The pandemic strain of influenza type A, H1N1 2009 also known as Swine Flu was detected in some students of the school and is believed to be related to the deaths of four students.

Most of the students have left the school for their various homes, leaving about 45 students present in the school.

The Ashanti Regional Health Director, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, speaking at a press conference indicated that health officials are also committed to strengthening surveillance at the school to prevent a similar occurrence in future.

“So far so good. Since yesterday there has not been any new case and so far we have 11 students on admission. Three are on admission at the KNUST hospital. Komfo Anokye has one on admission. At Kumasi South hospital, there are five on admission and then Manhyia hospital, two on admission. There has not been any reported new case,” he said.

“As far as I am here as an epidemiologist, I don’t think I will have to go to the school and do vaccination because what I am seeing so far shows that the epidemic is almost ending. My recommendation as a public health personnel is to strengthen surveillance on them and give antiviral. It is better to use antiviral at this time than to go in for mass immunization.”

Aside from the four recent deaths, 32 students have also been hospitalised.

Respiratory samples sent to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research also indicated that there was an outbreak of an acute respiratory infection which the Health Ministry has since attributed as the cause of some of the deaths.

However, no definite cause of the student deaths has as yet been declared.

A private company was recently contracted by the Ministry of Education to carry out a fumigation exercise at the school following the suspected swine flu outbreak.

By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana