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The Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has confirmed that the mysterious deaths recorded at the Kumasi Academy in the Ashanti region were caused by a respiratory illness known as Influenza H1N1 2009.
Addressing the media Thursday, the Health Minister said 19 tests conducted by the Nogouchi Memorial Institute confirmed Influenza H1N1 2009 as the cause of the deaths and not meningitis as earlier suspected.
Influenza H1N1 209 also known as swine flu was last recorded in Ghana in 2009. The Minister also stated that seven students who died at KUMACA in April this year died from meningitis.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu assured that the outbreak has been confined to the Kumasi Academy and not likely to spread beyond the school.
“Of the nineteen samples sent to Nogouchi…report from further tests was received confirming H1NI 209 pandemic outbreak. Based on this…we wish to indicate..an outbreak of acute respiratory infection with severe presentation and some resulting in deaths,” the Minister said.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu also confirmed that 44 students have been infected and are currently receiving treatment. He appealed to parents not to panic and return wards who have been taken home.
According to him, vaccines will be sent to the school to fight the outbreak and ensure that the situation is contained. Mr. Agyeman-Manu cautioned the media to be circumspect in their reportage and not create fear and panic in the country.