Authorities in Guinea introduced the primary death from Lassa fever in additional than twenty years Thursday, heightening anxiousness about one other hemorrhagic fever within the West African country the place an Ebola epidemic first emerged.
The Ebola outbreak in late 2013 went on to kill greater than 11,000 folks partly as a result of native authorities and the worldwide group have been sluggish to behave when circumstances first popped up in a rural a part of the deeply impoverished nation.
In a authorities assertion, well being authorities confirmed that a minimum of one particular person was useless and greater than two dozen others had been monitored for attainable signs. However, critics questioned why the federal government was solely now making the information public when the sufferer died Jan. 11.
Further complicating the state of affairs was the truth that the Guinean citizen died throughout the border in Liberia — the identical manner that Ebola initially unfold. Authorities, although, stated there was nothing to concern.
“None of the patient’s contacts in Liberia became sick or tested positive for Lassa,” the assertion stated.
There isn’t any accepted vaccine for Lassa fever, whose signs are much like Ebola. After beginning as a fever with aches and pains it could possibly progress to headache, vomiting and diarrhea. According to the World Health Organization, extreme circumstances could cause victims to bleed from the mouth and nostril.
Like Ebola, Lassa fever may be unfold by way of contact with the bodily fluids of sick folks. Humans can also contract it from consuming meals that has been tainted by the urine or feces of rodents.
Dr. Sakoba Keita, who coordinated Guinea’s nationwide response to the Ebola outbreak from 2014-2016, advised non-public radio station Espace FM that the brand new Lassa fever case was the country’s first recognized one since 1996.
The illness, nonetheless, has lengthy existed in West Africa. Nigerian authorities have reported greater than 440 suspected circumstances all through the country up to now this 12 months, in line with the non-governmental group often known as ALIMA. At least 40 individuals are believed to have died from Lassa fever there.