The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Lassa Fever Hits Nimba …Ganta United Methodist Hospital alarms

By Solomon T. Gaye Sr.
Ganta United Methodist Hospital’s administrator, Allen Zomonway, has disclosed the outbreaks of deadly Lassa Fever in Nimba County.
“Members of the Press, I want to take this time to inform the general public through this media about the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the county and tell the people that they need health education to know the signs and symptoms associated with this disease and to report any suspected fever to a nearby health center or hospital to prevent the disease from spreading in the country,” administrator Allen Zomonway stated.
Speaking to a team of reporters, Allen Zomonway , added that, because of the severity of the disease , administration of the hospital have put in place a preventive measure placing bucket of water with soap to wash hands and thermo- flash for people coming to the hospital in other to curtail the spread of the disease.
Ganta united Methodist Hospital is among referral hospitals in the country where large number of patients are usually transferred to professional nurses working with various health centers for surgical purposes.
When contacted, Paul Yanzee , a staff assigned to the G. W. Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie via mobile phone confirmed the incident, that health workers are on the field working to curtail the disease.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.
Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or feces of infected Mastomys rats. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.
Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.
Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in health care settings in the absence of adequate infection prevention and control measures.
Diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Among patients who are hospitalized with severe clinical presentation of Lassa fever, case-fatality is estimated at around 15%. Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.
Though first described in the 1950s, the virus causing Lassa fever disease was not identified until 1969. The virus is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the virus family Arenaviridae.
About 80% of people who become infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. 1 in 5 infections result in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.

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