Out of 19 samples sent to the NOGUCHI Memorial Institute from the Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti Region, 12 tested positive for influenza type A, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu has announced.
According to the Minister, reports on further tests were received confirming Influenza type-A H1N1 2009 [ Otherwise known as Swine Flu], pandemic strain.
The tests became necessary following what many have called mysterious deaths involving four students of the school in the past week.
Several students are also on admission, whereas the whole student population have been administered with antibiotics as part of a prophylaxis.
WHO’s notes on influenza
There are three types of seasonal influenza viruses, types A, B, and C, but only influenza type A viruses are known to have caused pandemics.
Placed under the umbrella of seasonal influenza, the World Health Organisation notes that this virus is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, cough, headaches, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise, sore throat and a runny nose.
Most people are said to recover from the fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention but influenza can cause severe illness or death in people deemed high risk.
Pregnant women, children aged between six to 59 months, the elderly, individuals with specific chronic medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and chronic heart or lung diseases, and health-care workers have the highest risk of contracting the virus, according to WHO.
Vaccination is said to be the most effective way to prevent the disease, even when circulating viruses may not exactly match the vaccine viruses.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana