NewsDesk @bactiman63

Since the beginning of the year through December 1, Liberia has reported seven Lassa fever outbreaks amounting to 67 laboratory confirmed cases including 22 deaths (CFR 32.8%), according to the WHO.

Image/Robert Herriman

Of the 15 counties in Liberia, five have reported confirmed cases.

The most affected counties are Bong (22 cases, four deaths), Grand Bassa (26 cases, six deaths), and Nimba (17 cases, 11 deaths). Montserrado and River Gee counties have each reported one confirmed case with one death in River Gee County.

Liberia is one of the West African countries where Lassa fever is endemic along with Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever spread through contact with infected rodents or their urine or droppings. Lassa fever can also be spread from person to person through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids.

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Symptoms of Lassa fever (fever, chills, headache, and fatigue) develop 1-3 weeks after infection. About 20% of people infected with Lassa fever develop severe illness that can lead to hemorrhaging (bleeding), respiratory distress, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen, and sometimes death.