Lassa fever outbreak hits Liberia

Monrovia- Liberia (PANA) — An outbreak of Lassa fe-ver has been reported in parts of central and north-eastern Liberia, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said here Friday.
Lassa fever is transmitted by mice and other rodents or from human to human, causing swelling in the anus, with the victim experiencing fever, headache and bleeding that could lead to coma and death.
Although no death has been reported so far, Liberia's Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Health Minister, Bernice Dahn, told reporters that health authorities were "greatly troubled about reports of active circulation of Lassa fever virus" in three of the country's 15 counties.
Dahn said out of 21 cases diagnosed in the densely populated areas, 13 were confirmed with Lassa fever cases in Nimba county in February.
Meanwhile, Liberian health authorities have announced plans to conduct a massive public awareness in communities in the affected areas.
Mice is a delicacy for some tribal groups in that part of Liberia and other areas.

06 Abril 2007 15:58:00

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