Liberia infectious diseases

Key messages for primary care practitioners

  • Screen all new entrants (including children) from this country for TB.
  • All patients from this country should be offered and recommended an HIV test.
  • Sexually active individuals should be offered a full sexual health screen and safer sex health promotion advice.
  • This country has a high prevalence of hepatitis B. Consider screening for hepatitis B, particularly among those who have recently arrived.
  • This country has a considerably higher prevalence of hepatitis C than the UK.  Consider screening for hepatitis C.
  • There is a high risk of malaria in this country.
  • There is a risk of typhoid infection in this country.
  • Ensure all patients are up to date with the UK immunisation schedule.
  • Ask opportunistically about any travel plans that the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin and arrange for appropriate travel advice - see NaTHNaC [external link]. 
  • For information about specific infectious diseases please see health topics.

TB

  • There is a high incidence of TB in this country (40 – 499 cases/100,000).
  • Screen for TB according to NICE guidelines [external link].
  • Refer to TB services promptly if screening is positive.
  • Maintain long term vigilance for symptoms of TB even if initial screening is negative.
  • TB is a notifiable disease.
  • Please see TB page for further information.

HIV and sexually transmitted infections

  • There is a high rate of HIV in this country. 
  • All patients from this country should be offered and recommended an HIV test.
  • Although recent global STI data are not available, countries with high HIV rates tend to have higher rates of STIs. The range of STIs encountered in this country may vary from those in the UK.
  • Sexually active individuals should be offered a full sexual health screen and safer sex health promotion advice by referral to local genito-urinary medicine services.
  • Please see HIV and STI pages for further information.

Hepatitis B

  • This country has a high prevalence of hepatitis B.
  • Consider screening for hepatitis B, particularly among those who have recently arrived.
  • All pregnant women should be offered screening for hepatitis B infection during each pregnancy.
  • Babies born to mothers who are hepatitis B positive should be appropriately immunised and followed-up accordingly.
  • The UK has a selective immunisation programme for hepatitis B; please see the Immunisation against Infectious Disease (Green Book) [external link] for further guidance.
  • Please see hepatitis B page for further information.

Hepatitis C

  • This country has a considerably higher prevalence of hepatitis C than the UK. 
  • Consider screening for hepatitis C.
  • Please see hepatitis C page for further information.

Malaria

  • There is a high risk of malaria in this country predominantly due to P. falciparum.
  • Information on which areas of this country are affected is available from NaTHNaC [external link].
  • Any unwell patient with a history of arrival from or a visit to affected areas of this country in the last year must be tested for malaria
  • For travellers returning to this country (e.g. to visit friends and relatives), provide appropriate travel advice as recommended by NaTHNaC [external link] for this country.
  • Please see malaria page for further information.

Enteric fever

  • There is a risk of typhoid infection in this country.
  • Ensure that travellers to this country are offered typhoid immunisation and advice on prevention of enteric fevers.
  • Remember enteric fever in the differential diagnosis of illness in patients with a recent history of travel to or from this country.
  • Please see enteric fever page for further information.

Helminths

  • There is a risk of helminth infections including schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis in this country.
  • Please see helminths page for further information.

 

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