LASSA FEVER

There is an ongoing Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, I decided to highlight facts that should be known about it.

According to http://www.thisdaylive.com 11 states have been affected. The states are Bauchi, Nassarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Ondo, Plateau, Oyo and Abuja.

FACTS ABOUT LASSA FEVER 

  1. It is also called Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF)
  2. It is caused by lassa virus
  3. It was named after lassa in Borno state, Nigeria
  4. It is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever ( characterized by fever and bleeding disorders)
  5. Incubation period  (when symptoms start to appear ) – between 1 -3 weeks
  6. It is a multi-system disease (affects the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, respiratory tract, nervous system)

TRANSMISSION 

It is a zoonotic virus. This means it can be passed between animals and humans

Rat (mastomys natalensis specie) is the reservoir for Lassa fever. It can be transmitted when humans come into contact with the urine or feces of an infected rat.

It can also be passed from human to human by contact with bodily fluids(urine, feces,  pus, saliva, tears, sputum e.t.c ) from an infected person

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LASSA FEVER 

Note : It can be asymptomatic (without symptoms)

fever, sore throat, vomitting, diarrhea, high fever, ulcers in the mouth, facial swelling, muscle fatigue, muscle pain, conjunctivitis, mucosal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding and many more symptoms

PREVENTION

  1. Keep your environment clean
  2. Try to get rid of rats and other rodents in your environment
  3. Store your foodstuffs properly to avoid contamination by infected rats.

With the symptoms above, we can see that the symptoms are not very specific, it is hard to distinguish Lassa fever from many diseases like Ebola, Marburg and even malaria.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE IS INFECTED

  1. Try to limit your contact with the person
  2. If contact is necessary please use gloves and masks
  3. Get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible

Thank you for reading

Reference : Wikipedia


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