Four Die Of Meningitis At Obuasi
8/2/2011 11:12:56 AM -
Health authorities at Obuasi are battling an outbreak of meningitis in the municipality. The disease has so far killed four persons in the past week at New Nsuta Estates, considered a first-class residential area. It is, however, yet to be confirmed whether the disease is cerebro-spinal meningitis (CSM), one of the most deadly strains of the disease.
The dead are two males and two females.
Seven other people suffering from the disease are receiving medical attention at the Obuasi Government Hospital.
Initially, residents were alarmed at what they described as “a strange disease” but laboratory examinations had proved that the four died of meningitis.
Dr Akwasi Amankwah, the Obuasi Municipal Director of Health, told the Daily Graphic yesterday on phone from his base at Obuasi that it was yet to be established how the disease broke out in the area.
“But I’m sure someone picked the disease elsewhere and brought it here,” he said.
According to him, further tests are being made to ascertain any traces of CSM.
“That is not to say meningitis is not a terrifying disease,” the medical director added.
Dr Amankwah stated that if the further tests confirmed CSM, an immunisation exercise would be carried out in the affected area.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
It can be caused by a number of infectious agents including viruses and bacteria.
The disease can produce mild symptoms such as headache, low-grade fever and tiredness lasting two to three days in some patients.
In other patients, the symptoms can be severe and begin suddenly with fever, headache and stiff neck accompanied by some combination of other symptoms: decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light, confusion and sleepiness.
Dr Amankwah said a team from his outfit went to the affected community to educate the people on the disease and asked all with symptoms to report quickly to the hospital for treatment.
“An affected person could die after 30 minutes if he or she did not receive medical attention,” he explained.