Liberia Reports Significant Infectious Disease Outbreaks
The country of Liberia reported disturbing infectious disease news on June 10, 2018.
According to the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Bulletin #23, there were a total of 132 suspected cases of reportable infectious diseases and events, including 24 deaths, in just one week.
This new information indicates Liberia, which is located on the west coast of Africa, may be losing its infectious disease battle.
This disturbing information may motivate the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reevaluate its 2015 decision to remove Liberia from a Level 3 Travel Alert status.
As of June 8, 2018, the CDC does not list Liberia on its health alert index. The CDC did update its vaccination and disease advice for international travelers to Liberia on March 12, 2018.
During 2017, Liberia recorded 4,729 suspected cases for 10 immediately reportable diseases and events in 2017. This data reflects a negative trend when compared to 3,812 reported cases in 2016.
Specifically, the Liberia June 10, 2018 report detailed the following disease occurrences:
- Acute Flaccid Paralysis: Four cases were reported. Cumulatively, since Epi week one, 31 cases have been reported and 26 tested negative with 5 pending.
- Lassa Fever: Nine suspected Lassa fever cases were reported. Cumulatively, since Epi week one, 116 suspected cases have been reported including 33 deaths.
- Measles: Sixty-one (61) suspected cases of measles were reported. Cumulatively, since Epi-week one, 2,979 suspected measles cases have been reported.
- Meningitis: One suspected case of meningitis was reported. Cumulatively, since Epi-week one, 36 suspected cases have been reported of which fifteen have been tested; two were positive by RT-PCR for Neisseria meningitides serotype w and thirteen negatives.
- Tetanus: One suspected case of Neonatal tetanus was reported. Cumulatively, since Epi-week one, 5 clinically diagnosed cases have been reported.
- Yellow Fever: Two cases of Yellow fever were reported. Cumulatively, since Epi-week one, 48 suspected cases have been reported and 44 tested negative, two pending.
This extensive list is best reviewed with a certified travel vaccine pharmacy 10 or more days prior to traveling to Liberia.
International travelers can request a vaccine appointment with a pharmacy.
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The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.