Monrovia Liberia – The Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh, says the Ministry of Health is concerned about the increase of Lassa fever in the Country.
Dr. Kateh indicated that public health measures are being instituted across Liberia to ensure that people seek medical attention urgently.
Speaking recently to State Radio (ELBC), Minister Kateh also noted that, due to the decentralization of the Country’s health sector, civic education and awareness are being conducted to curb the spread of the disaster, a move, he said, the citizens have welcomed.
The Liberian Chief Medical Officer further mentioned that one of the foreign physicians, currently in Liberia, contracted the Lassa Fever disease while treating a patient diagnosed of the disease, but was treated and discharged.
Dr. Kateh said, before the Lassa fever was discovered in Lofa, Nimba and Bong Counties in December and has been on the increase between December and March, 2020 as the three affected counties were declared Lassa fever belt in Liberia.
He, however, stated that currently, the issue of Lassa fever is not limited to the three initially affected counties, rather it has become a national issue as its presence is being felt across Liberia.
He also attributed the spread of the Lassa Fever to rats, considered carriers of the disease, because they are finding it difficult to fetch food and therefore are moving to various homes in search of their livelihoods.
Dr. Kateh also blamed the spread of the disease on a number of factors, including climate change, exposing humans to more animals, dense population, leaving the animals alone to find an alternative way to survive, among others.
According to the Liberian Chief Medical Officer, one of the Symptoms associated with Lassa fever is persistent high fever that, after a period of time, begins affecting other body organs.
He said, due to the spread of Lassa fever across Liberia, clinicians have been trained to be able to quickly diagnose the disease and treat it.
Meanwhile, considering the critical nature of the disease, Dr. Kateh, warned against getting in contact with rat’s urine, eating rats, touching dead rats with your bare hand and keeping your environment dirty, among others.
He advised that whenever you discover that you have persistent high fever, you must quickly seek medical care.
The Liberian medical authority then pointed out that, when an individual is diagnosed of Lassa fever within five to seven days, there is a possibility of saving the person’s life, despite the incubation period.
He said Lassa fever is not only common to Liberia, but to other parts of West Africa.