Margibi County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Myer Chea Pajibo has revealed an outbreak of Lassa Fever in the County, which up to press time last night is reported to have claimed at least two lives.
According to the Liberia News Agency (LNA), Dr. Pajibo made the disclosure at a press conference on the compounds of the C. H. Rennie Memorial Hospital in Kakata on Tuesday.
He told newsmen that the two victims are one male, 56, and a female, 43, but did not reveal their names, neither did he expose the community in which they died. However, he warned residents to be aware of a pending health crisis should the situation escalate.
The two confirmed cases, Pajibo said, were identified in the County on May 4 and 7, 2018, at the C. H. Rennie Memorial Hospital.
The cases are from two separate districts (kakata and Gibi) respectively, without any epidemiological link established so far.
According to Dr. Pajibo, the report shows that the male victim and his wife traveled to Toma Town in Bong County, to attend the funeral of their grandchild, who suddenly died from a “fever of unknown origin.”
Hospital authorities are yet to locate the taxi driver who reportedly transported the couple to Bong County.
At present, the County’s medical authorities have so far traced 55 contacts since the outbreak was reported.
About the disease
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic body fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms.The disease is usually spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected multimammate, (rat) etc., a WHO research has shown.
Ministry of Health Director of Communications Sorbor George could not confirm nor deny Dr. Pajibo’s revelation. But he told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that, “we’re on health tour in the Southeast, specifically in Sinoe County, so I cannot speak to that report right now. All I know and I can tell you is that the sector has in place mechanisms to contain any outbreak, having learned from the Ebola experience of 2014 and 2015 respectively.”