One death from Lassa fever has been reported by the Guinea authorities raising fears that the death toll from another haemorrhagic fever could rise following the death of more than 11,000 people from Ebola in 2013.
In a government statement on Thursday health authorities confirmed that at least one person was dead and more than two dozen others had been monitored for possible symptoms, AP reported.
However, critics questioned why the government was only now making the news public when the victim died on 11 January.
Further confusing the issue was that face that the Guinean citizen died across the border in Liberia in exactly the same way that Ebola initially spread.
Following the criticism and mistrust levelled at Conakry the authorities have vowed to respond to the crisis more effectively, adding that tracking of the disease had taken place and that there was no reason for people to be concerned.
“None of the patient’s contacts in Liberia became sick or tested positive for Lassa,” the statement said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) was informed two days after the victim’s death.
Lassa fever symptoms are similar to Ebola and begin with fever, aches and pains which progress to headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea.
According to the WHO severe cases can cause victims to bleed from the mouth and nose.
It is often spread through the bodily fluids of sick people or by eating food that has been tainted by the urine or faeces of rodents.
- African News Agency (ANA