Ghana has confirmed a total of 773 Influenza A H3 positive cases out of the cumulative 3,460 samples tested, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed.
The Influenza A virus is the commonest virus identified from sentinel surveillance sites and has several sub-types including the Pandemic Influenza H1N1 and the H3N2.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle and back aches, general bodily weakness, and rash with blisters on the face, hands, feet, body, eyes, mouth, or genitals.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, who made this known at a press briefing in Accra, said this was confirmed after a Sentinel Surveillance for Respiratory pathogens was conducted across the country.
Sentinel surveillance provides an opportunity to identify circulating viruses causing respiratory illness in the population.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye explained that the first case was seen in the Eastern Region in January and a surge later started in April.
So far, Influenza A H3 cases have been confirmed in all regions except, Upper East, Upper West, and North East Regions with Eastern, Greater Accra, and the Volta Regions, recording higher cases, he added.
“Eastern Region has reported approximately, 74.5 percent cases, Greater Accra 33.1 percent, and Volta 11.9 percent”, the Director-General indicated.
Meanwhile, Ghana is currently experiencing three different outbreaks: COVID-19, Monkeypox, and Influenza A H3. The Director-General, however, assured that the country’s health system was not overwhelmed as the control measures put in place for COVID-19 apply through all the outbreaks.
He thus advised Ghanaians to avoid skin-to-skin, face-to-face, and mouth-to-skin contact, clean hands, objects, surfaces, bedding, and towels regularly.
Wear a mask, if possible, to avoid close contact and when handling bedding, towels, and clothes, to prevent the spread of the flu-like disease, he added.