NINE PERSONS DIE IN BENIN FROM LASSA FEVER

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  • Symptoms similar to the Ebola disease

Benin’s Health Minister has confirmed the deaths of nine persons from Lassa fever. Lassa fever is a viral disease common in West Africa with symptoms similar to Ebola. But so far, no Ebola cases have been confirmed in Benin, according to Health Minister Dorothee Kinde Gazard.

The Lassa fever deaths happened in Tanguieta, 370 miles (600 kilometers) north of the capital, said Gazard. In all, 15 cases of Lassa have been detected, and Gazard said she thought the outbreak would be quickly contained. Authorities are monitoring 170 people who had contact with the sick for signs of Lassa.

In West Africa, there are reportedly some 100,000 to 300,000 cases of Lassa fever each year and about 5,000 resultant deaths. The Lassa virus is carried by rodents and is transmitted to humans through contact with their urine or droppings. It can also be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with a sick person’s bodily fluids, though that eventuality is often rare. Lassa fever is in the same virus family as Ebola, which has killed 5,400 people in West Africa since its current outbreak.

Extracted and modified from Yahoo News

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