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Liberia records more Lassa Fever cases

The National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) says cases of Lassa Fever have been on the increase in the country.In a press statement issued here late Tuesday, the National Public Health Institute said the outbreak is occurring in Bong, Margibi, Nimba and Montserrado Counties.

 It said since the beginning of January 2018, a total of 81 suspected Lassa Fever cases, including 22 deaths have been reported across the country.

It added that out of the 81 suspected cases- 11 have been confirmed: 4 in Nimba, 3 in Montserrado, 2 in Margibi, one in Bong and one in Grand Bassa County-while 67 tested negative for Lassa Fever.

It said the case fatality among confirmed cases is 91 percent, with females constituting 70 % or 8 out of the 11 confirmed cases. He said the age range of the confirmed cases is 1 to 57 years old.

According to the release, the high death rate can be attributed to sick people coming to health facilities late, after the onset of symptoms.

The release said although Lassa Fever is not new to Liberia, it is a deadly viral disease that requires urgent attention. The disease is spread by rodents or rats and through close contact with affected persons.

The National Public Health Institute is accordingly advising people to keep their environments clean, cover their dishes to prevent rats shitting or urinating on them, and cover food in tightly closed
containers to prevent rats from playing in food or drinking water.

The NPHIL is also cautioning people against eating rats because people can contract the disease by coming in contact with the blood and urine or feces of rats.

People are also advised against drying food in open places where rats can reach or avoid body contact with infected persons.

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