Monrovia — The Liberian globally acclaimed biomedical scientist and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan has said that, “people should not panic as there is so far no valid information about an Ebola outbreak in Guinea as is being rumored in the West African sub-region in recent days.”
“There are several infectious diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, Lassa fever and even COVID-19 infection that have similar onset clinical symptoms like Ebola; we don’t know the sources of the rumors, but we should be very careful about reaching hasty unvalidated conclusions as it seems that the public may be mistaking Lassa fever for Ebola.” Dr. Dougbeh Nyan, public health expert
Dr. Nyan, a public health expert, dispelled said rumors after thorough discussions with colleagues in Guinea and Sierra Leone who themselves have previously issued a release today countering the rumors.
In a communication exchange between Dr. Nyan and Mr. Harold Thomas of the Sierra Leonean Risk Communication Lead, it was revealed that a release under the signature of Professor Foday Sahr, Executive Director of the National Public Health Agency of Sierra Leone is authentic. The release dispelled similar rumor of an Ebola outbreak in Guinea and confirmed reports by Guinea public health authorities only of a confirmed case of Lassa fever in Nzerekore, an area where Lassa fever is common.
“There are several infectious diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, Lassa fever and even COVID-19 infection that have similar onset clinical symptoms like Ebola; we don’t know the sources of the rumors, but we should be very careful about reaching hasty unvalidated conclusions as it seems that the public may be mistaking Lassa fever for Ebola,” Dr. Nyan cautioned.
In 2014, an Ebola epidemic swept the region through Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria and was transmitted to the United States and some countries in Europe.
Ebola is an RNA virus that is transmitted through person-to-person contact via contaminated bodily fluid, Dr. Nyan said. The outbreak of 2014 in West Africa killed nearly 10, 000 people. Guinea, where the first cases were detected, was the epicentre of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in West Africa.
In September, 2014, Dr. Nyan testified before that US Congress and provided a road map towards ending the Ebola outbreak. He proposed and advocated for the establishment of National Public Health Institutes in the Ebola-affected countries and the African Center for Disease Control which is now situated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
During the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Nyan provided extensive awareness to the populations, diagnostic training, and expert advised on public health regulatory measures to African countries including Liberia.
The globally renowned inventor, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan, arrived in Liberia from East Africa for another round of volunteer-services in clinical medicine and public health, and to lecture at selected universities for a semester which began this month, January 2024.
He is the inventor of the US patented rapid multiplex diagnostic test for infectious diseases (the NYAN TEST) and is the 2017 winner of the prestigious African Innovation Award Special Prize for Social Impact.