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21.04.2006 Health

Beware: Heat Waves In The Country Can Lead To Death

By peacefm

The current high temperatures in Ghana may lead to a rise in Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis (CSM) cases. The Meteorological Agency is therefore advising Ghanaians to as much as possible avoid direct contact with the sun's rays and be under shade to reduce the risk of attack by the disease.

Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis is an infection that affects a person's spinal cord and brain and sometimes leads to death. It is very common in extremely warm and dry weather conditions. Thirteen people are reported to have died from the disease in Bolgatanga between January and March this year. A senior Meteorologist at the Ghana Meteorological Agency, Kafui Quarshigah explained that around this time of the year, there is some flow of moisture in the atmosphere which raises humidity and makes people sweat profusely.

He dismissed the notion that the current warm weather condition is due to last month's solar eclipse. Senior Medical Officer in charge of Public Health at Ghana Health Service (GHS), Edward Antwi said the CSM epidemic normally occurs between October and February especially during the harmattan. He said the germ can be found in the nose, ear and throat and many people may be carrying it without knowing and can easily transmit it to others.“When an infected person coughs, talks or sneezes, they are likely to infect others who might inhale the germ through breathing,” he said. Dr Antwi advised that symptoms like headache, fever and dizziness should be reported immediately at the nearest hospital and that treatment is available in all health institutions throughout the country.

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