Outbreak Of H3N2 Flu Contained – GHS

The Ghana Health Service is urging parents in the three schools in the Eastern that was affected by epidemic flu not to panic as the situation has been brought under control.

Rather, it called on parents to advise their wards to cooperate with the health and school authorities, practice enhance personal hygiene and cough etiquette as suggested by their health teams.

More than 400 students were quarantined in three secondary schools in the Eastern region over the outbreak of the H3N2 Flu in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.

The schools affected are Krobo Girls Senior High School, Akuse Methodist Senior High Technical School (AMEST) and Legacy College – a private school.

The GHS, in a statement issued on Sunday providing an update on the incident, said it would continue to monitor the situation very closely, do best to contain it and provide updates to the general public as appropriate.

Symptoms of the disease include cough, runny or congested nose, sore throat, headache, body aches and pains, fever, chills, and fatigue.

Giving insight into the current case, the GHS said it received a report of an unusually high number of suspected flu cases in three schools on October 31, 2019.

“Consequently, teams of experts from the National and Regional Levels were dispatched to support the affected Districts, to verify and assess the situation and provide response actions as appropriate.

“The teams have met with the respective school authorities and took samples from affected students for laboratory testing. The test confirmed seasonal flu Type-A H3N2 which responds well to current treatment regimen for flu management,” the statement said.

It said the affected students were given the needed medication and told to stick to common hygienic practices including washing of hands with soap under running water and observe “common cough etiquette such as covering your mouth with a handkerchief before you cough or sneeze to prevent further spread.”

It said all the affected students had responded well to treatment and were doing very well as of today (Sunday) and normalcy had been restored to the schools, with students going about their daily routines.

According to the Ministry of Health Protocol for Human Influenza Surveillance in Ghana, the viruses are classified as influenza types A, B, and C.

Influenza A and B viruses can cause epidemic disease in humans, while type C viruses usually cause mild, cold-like illness. Influenza A infects multiple species, including humans, other mammals, and wild and domestic birds. The current human influenza A subtypes in circulation are H1N1, H3N2 and H7N9.

This is not the first the outbreak of a flu is happening in a school. Schools have been shut down in the past because of the outbreak.

November 2009

16 students of the prestigious Lincoln Community School in Accra got infected with the deadly H1N1 or swine flu virus, forcing health and education authorities to close down the school.

March 2010

Merton International School was closed down temporarily after it was detected that five children had become infected with the H1N1 strain or swine flu.

April 2010

In April 2010, Mfantsipim School recorded 10 confirmed cases of Influenza H1N1 (swine flu). The affected were being treated at the Central Regional Hospital in Cape Coast.

April 5, 2010

The Ayipe Primary and D/L school at the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District in the Central Region was closed down for two weeks following an outbreak of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in the school.

Two, out of the five suspected cases from the School that were sent to Noguchi Memorial Institute for Scientific Research tested positive.

December 7, 2017

On December 7, 2017, the Ministry of Health announced an outbreak of H1N1 influenza after four suspected associated deaths were reported in Kumasi Academy. At least 44 students in the school were hospitalised on December 3, amid the outbreak.