Healthy Living : All you need to know about Lassa fever
With the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria it’s paramount to educate us on all there is to know about Lassa fever.
Lassa fever is recently on the increase and so far the spread has gotten to several states in Nigeria.
What is Lassa fever?
Lassa fever is a viral disease caused by the Lassa virus and usually common in areas with high number of rodents.
It can be transmitted to humans via multimammate rats.
Most cases occur in rural communities where rat populations are high, and hygiene and sanitation conditions are poor.
How is lassa fever spread ;its important to know how a virus is spread to be cautious about it.
The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans mainly through handling rats, food or household items contaminated by rats’ urine and faeces.
The virus can spread between people through direct contact with the body fluids of a person infected with Lassa fever, as well as contaminated bedding and clothing.
Symptoms of Lassa fever
Symptoms of Lassa fever typically occur 2-21 days after coming into contact
with the virus.
Many people who are infected do not show symptoms.
- Sore throat
- Chest and
- muscle pain
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Facial swelling
- In severe cases, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract.
If you think you have Lassa fever, kindly do the following
1. Avoid contact with other people
2. Seek health advice immediately
3. Drink plenty of fluids
4. Ribavirin, an antiviral drug, can be an effective treatment if given early
How to prevent getting infected with Lassa fever.
- Wash your hands regularly
- Store food in containers with lids
- Keep your home clean and tidy to discourage rats from entering
- Keep a cat
- Cook all foods thoroughly
- Be mindful of your food vendors or shopping centers.
- Avoid soaking garri.
Knowing all the above will keep you on a safer side from the viral virus in circulation.
Culled from WHO infographic