Health authorities in Liberia have announced the outbreak of Lassa Fever, which they say has killed at least 21 people, including one health worker, since January this year.

Liberia’s Deputy Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer Francis Kateh says more than 90 cases have been reported across the country, but 25 including the 21 deaths, have so far been confirmed.

Lassa fever is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness which is endemic in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. In Liberia it is spread mainly by rats and cockroaches.

Mr Kateh says even though Lassa fever has been a usual health problem in some parts of Liberia for a very long time, authorities see the current outbreak as a matter of serious concern because it is happening at a time when it is not expected.

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