ACCRA, The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed the first recorded case of Lassa Fever in the country at Tema General Hospital, near here.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, told the media here Thursday that one person had been confirmed dead from Lassa Fever. The confirmation followed a test conducted by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana.

Currently all frontline staff at the hospital who handled the patient before he died were being screened, while further investigations to trace the background and all contacts of the deceased were being pursued to prevent the spread of the virus.

Dr Nsiah-Asare dispelled the fears of the public, saying the GHS had put in place interventions to control the spread of the disease and had maintained high surveillance and issued alerts to all health institutions across the country.

He advised the public not to resort to self-medication when they suspect fever or any form of illness, but to report immediately to the nearest health facility for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

He indicated that the Health authorities would be having a meeting with officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) to further strategise on strengthening the existing interventions to intensify the prevention of the spread of Lassa fever in Ghana.

He reiterated an earlier appeal to the public to observe high environmental hygiene, to prevent the breeding of rodents, especially rats, which are the carriers of the virus, from entering their homes to contaminate food and other liquids, and to be extremely cautious getting into contact with their droplets and urine.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever which is endemic in West Africa, and it is transmitted by contact with infected rodents, especially rats.