Nov 26, 2014 3:17 AM
Benin says Lassa fever kills 9, no Ebola found
The Associated Press
COTONOU, Benin (AP) The Healthy Ministry in Benin says nine people have died from Lassa fever, a viral disease common in West Africa with symptoms similar to Ebola.
An outbreak of Ebola is pummeling three West African countries and some cases have turned up elsewhere. But Benin's health minister, Dorothee Kinde Gazard, told reporters late Tuesday that tests so far have come back negative for Ebola.
The deaths happened in Tanguieta, 370 miles (600 kilometers) north of the capital. In all, 15 cases of Lassa have been detected.
In West Africa, there are about 100,000 to 300,000 cases of Lassa fever each year and about 5,000 deaths. The Lassa virus is carried by rodents and is transmitted to humans through contact with their urine or droppings.