Benin declares end of Lassa fever epidemic

Benin’s Health Ministry has declared the end of  Lassa haemorrhagic fever epidemic that claimed the lives of two people in the country earlier in February this year.

The Minister of Health Dr.Alassane Seidou said  “I declare today, Friday, April 14, 2017, the end of the current episode of the Lassa haemorrhagic fever epidemic”.

The disease caused only two fatal cases recorded in the country but the Beninese authorities declared it an epidemic to have the maximum means to prevent the spread of the virus.The 90 people who contacted the two infected persons did not develop symptoms during the 21 days prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which led to the declaration of the end of the epidemic.

The fatal cases were recorded in the Borgou district of the center-east in Benin, bordering Nigeria.

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arena virus family of viruses. It is transmitted to humans from contacts with food or household items contaminated with rodent excreta. The disease is endemic in the rodent population in parts of West Africa.