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'Rodent-fever' claims two lives in Ghana

Xinhua | Updated: 2011-12-20 09:59

ACCRA,Ghana - A strange disease has hit inhabitants of the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, near Kumasi, 270 km north of the capital, claiming two lives, health officials said here on Monday.

Director of Public Health Dr Joseph Amankwa told Xinhua that the disease, which had been identified as Laffa viral hemorrhagic fever, and had symptoms similar to those of malaria, caused victims to bleed to death.

Dr Amankwa said he received information about the infection over the weekend but indicated that no other details were made available.

"We are sending a team to the affected area to verify what the actual situation is to determine our next action. We are also liaising with the World Health Organization to gather enough data on the infections and soon information will be sent out to the public," he said.

According to reports carried by local Joy fm radio station, the disease was the first of its kind in the country.

The reports quoted health officials as saying infection was passed on from infected rodents like mice and rats and was highly contagious.

"About two months ago, a young man of 19 years came to our health center here and complained of malaria, so we treated him for malaria but suddenly, blood started coming from the nose, mouth, anus and the ears, and immediately he died," Municipal Director of Health in the Amansie West District, Dominic Brobbey told the radio station.

He warned that although the situation was under control, there were no drugs to treat the disease in Ghana, and therefore urged government to expedite action to acquire the necessary drugs to prevent further deaths.

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