The head of Disease Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Thomas Nagbe says lassa fever has killed two persons in Nimba County and leaves more than a hundred contacts to be “line listed”.
The Health official told UNMIL Radio’s live program Coffey Break on Monday, 6 February that the first three lassa fever cases that hailed from Nimba killed two victims while the other patient has been undergoing observation for two weeks now.
But he said over a hundred persons have been line listed as contacts of the first three persons attacked by the disease; while announcing that 15 persons that came in contact with one of the lassa fever patients while traveling from Nimba to Monrovia have also been line listed and were responding to treatment.
Dr. Ngabe says the disease is now in Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties, respectively, as he classified lassa fever as a “major threat”.
He urged Liberians to keep their homes clean and to cover all foods properly to avoid lassa fever on grounds that during dry season, the disease can be spread by rats.
Dr. Nagbe emphasized that lassa fever erupts in dry seasons and cause havoc like the deadly Ebola virus disease that broke out in West Africa and killed thousands of people here between 2013 and 2014.
The health official says the disease can be transmitted through bodily fluid like Ebola, spreading from one infected person to another. He warned Liberians to be mindful of the disease suggesting that while people may regard most fever as malaria, they still need to do medical test to establish whether they are actually down with malaria or lassa fever.
Dr. Nagbe concluded that lassa fever disease can take six to twenty one days in a patient before showing symptoms, thus necessitating a 21 – day observation period for those who come in contact with patients infected with lassa fever to prevent further spread.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Winston W. Parley