A case of Lassa hemorrhagic fever, a viral disease similar to Ebola, has been identified in southern Guinea-Conakry, the West African country’s Ministry of Health announced on Friday. The Lassa fever virus was detected in a 17-year-old girl from Kassadou, in the municipality of Guéckédou, according to a statement.
Conakry | The patient is being treated at a medical center and her condition was, on Friday night, when the statement was released, “satisfactory”.
The infection was detected on April 20, in Guéckédou, and confirmed by a second test carried out in a “reference laboratory in Conakry”, the capital of Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau’s neighboring country.
An investigation is underway in the villages related to the case, “to record all contacts and follow-up”, and no other case was reported until Friday, according to the Conakry authorities.
Lassa hemorrhagic fever is caused by a virus from the same family as the one that causes Ebola, although it is less fulminant.
It is a viral hemorrhagic disease endemic in West Africa, transmitted to humans through contact with food or objects contaminated with rodent urine or feces and has a mortality rate of 1%.
Human-to-human transmission occurs through contact with the body fluids of infected people.
The virus is named after the city in Nigeria where it was first identified in 1969.
On March 17, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that at least 98 people have died from Lassa fever in Nigeria since the start of the year, where an outbreak has infected 540 people since January.
Although endemic in Nigeria, with an increase in cases during the dry season, between November and May, the disease is registering a “much higher number of cases” this year than in previous seasons, according to the WHO, which attributes this phenomenon. reduced surveillance and testing capacity.
To respond to this outbreak, Nigeria’s Centers for Disease Control, along with WHO and other partners, activated an Emergency Operations Center to coordinate responses at all levels, the statement said.
WHO has also mobilized experts to intervene in research, contact tracing, risk communication, and plans are underway to strengthen efforts to help Nigeria control the outbreak.
The organization also highlighted the number of cases and deaths among health professionals, which is partly due to the lack of adequate prevention and control measures in health facilities.
WHO has provided personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, masks, face shields, hand sanitizers and garbage bags as part of its support in fighting the disease.
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