Gov’t Calls for Vigilance Amid Lassa Fever Outbreak

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Dr. Mosoka Fallah addresses the press about the danger of the Lassa fever in Liberia.

The Government of Liberia (GoL), through the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Public Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), has called on citizens to become more vigilant against reports of an outbreak of Lassa fever.

The ministry said it is placing the public on the alert, barely two months after health authorities declared a health emergency as a result of an outbreak of Lassa fever that has already claimed about 21 lives.

The call comes at a time when the Lassa fever virus is stubbornly stamping a foothold in the country.

Acting Director-General of the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL), Dr. Mosoka Fallah, told reporters that the disease has so far affected five of the 15 counties.

He said that NPHIL and the Ministry of Health are doing everything possible to contain the outbreak.

At a press conference on Friday, November 8, Dr. Fallah said that the public needs to be informed adequately in order to help contain the spread of the disease as was done with the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

“We need to adequately inform our people about this health problem. There is no need to hide the information. It is better we put the information out there as well as the situation we are dealing with and how we can prevent it.

“It is important that we raise this and let the general public know that there are a couple of things they can do,” he added.

The disease has so far spread across Nimba, Grand Bassa, Bong, Margibi, Lofa and Grand Kru counties.

People contract the Lassa virus by exposure to urine or feces of infected rodents or rats. Other than common preventive measures such as washing hands regularly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended keeping cats to hunt the rats.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, said that there are specific counties that are prone to the Lassa fever outbreak but, because of the level of work that NPHIL has been doing, health authorities have been able to catch a lot of cases in the Lassa Fever outbreak.

“We are able to resolve a lot of issues that we don’t usually bring to the attention of the public through the press,” Dr. Jallah said, adding: “Lassa is an issue that the public should know, and should know how to manage and should be on the alert or lookout for persons coming with such a condition.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. It is hoped that the government of Liberia will do everything that’s possible to contain the spread of the killer desease, Lassa. Healthcare facilities ought to be improved nationwide. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

    In 2014 when Ebola entered Liberia, thousands of people lost their lives. During that painful era, international healthcare workers who went to Liberia in order to do battle with the killer desease were inconvenience in some cases because of poor healthcare facilities.

    It is an absolute must for the government and all healthcare workers to work together in order to avert a major catastrophe.

    Peace.

  2. Should be “inconvenienced in some cases”. Sometimes spelling and grammartical errors occur when the computer presents words ahead of what’s actually intended.

  3. Uncle Hney,

    Now you blaming the computer for your mistakes. The healthcare system has improved here somewhat since the ebola came and exposed the weakness of the system. The international community moved very expeditiously to assisted the government and for that, they must be commended. They did well, and of course President Obama also sent military troops to build health facilities around the country, that also helped us a lot.

    It is hoped that the government will do all in its power so that Liberia can never be caught with her pants down, so to speak, like what happened during that dark time.

    Peace

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