Conference abstract

Outbreak of rabies at Nyive in the Ho Municipality, Volta Region, Ghana, 2013

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:5(7).13 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.5.7.527

Contact the corresponding author
Keywords: Rabies, outbreak, Nyive Community, vaccination, Volta Region, Ghana

Outbreak of rabies at Nyive in the Ho Municipality, Volta Region, Ghana, 2013

Esther Amemor1,2,&, Ruben Nusenu2, Christine Adjei2, John Tampuori3, Atsu Seaker-Kwaku3, Christopher Kankpetinge3, Ebenezer Afari1, Chima Ohuabunwo1, Frederick Wurapa1, Samuel Sackey1

1Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legion, Accra, Ghana, 2Veterinary Services Department, Ghana, 3Ghana Health Service, Accra, Ghana

&Corresponding author
Esther Amemor, Veterinary Services Department, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana


Introduction: rabies is a viral zoonotic disease caused by lyssavirus of the family Rhabdoviridea, characterized by acute encephalitis. Worldwide, 55,000 rabies deaths occur annually with 56% occurring in Africa and 44% in Asia. Humans get infected with rabies through contact with the saliva of an infected animal (bite, scratches, licks on broken skin and mucous membranes). We investigated a suspected outbreak of rabies in Nyive Community in the Ho Municipality of Volta Region, Ghana, to confirm exposure, perform descriptive epidemiology, contain the outbreak and help implement control and preventive measures, where possible using the one-health approach.

Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted from 29th of April to 2nd May 2013. Active case search was conducted in the community to obtain a line list of case patients. The index case was a 26 years old lady who was bitten by a dog on the 19 March 2013 and died on the 20 April 2013 after developing furious rabies.

Results: a line list of eight patients was generated. There was one human death giving a Case Fatality of 1 (12.50%) of 8 patients. Sixty-three percent (5/8) patients were males. The median age of patients was 30.5 years. The youngest was 1.5 years old. Public health response leads to vaccination of two thousand pets and 5 persons against rabies in the community.

Conclusion: there was an outbreak of rabies in Nyive Community. Public education was organized on rabies both in the community and on air. Yearly vaccination of pets against rabies was recommended in the area.