Lassa Fever: GMA cautions health workers to adhere strictly to infection prevention and control protocols


The Medical Association () has said it acknowledges measures being put in place to trace their contacts and contain the outbreak of the Lassa Fever virus from spreading further.

The Association said it is facilitating the provision of psychological support to colleagues confirmed with the disease.

In a statement on Thursday, March 2, the GMA said the total number of confirmed cases so far is 14 including some and other workers exposed in their line of duty.

“The virus spreads to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of mice. It also spreads from one person to the other through direct contact with bodily fluids e.g. urine, blood, faeces or contaminated clothes and beddings of an infected person.

“This risk of spread among health professionals is high when infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols are not adhered to during the care of patients,” the statement said.

Symptoms of Lassa Fever

Most people infected with the virus may present with mild symptoms or may be asymptomatic.

The early symptoms of Lassa fever are non-specific and usually include fever, general
malaise, weakness, and headache.

Other symptoms may include sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain.

Severe cases may present with bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or stomach.


While no currently offers protection against Lassa Fever, Ribavirin offers good
outcomes especially when given early along with other supportive management.
The GMA is engaging the government to fast-track the mobilization of the drug to ensure its availability for the management of patients.

Adherence to IPC protocols

Members are advised to adhere strictly to IPC protocols especially regarding the use of PPEs at all times and ensure all other members of the care team do same. In particular,
Wearing of facemasks at all times at work, frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizers, use of gloves and avoidance of contact with bodily fluids.

Members are also urged to have a high index of suspicion for individuals presenting with the signs and symptoms outlined above.

“The GMA will continue to monitor the situation and advise members accordingly,” the statement stressed.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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