How to protect your family from Lassa Fever

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Key facts

  • Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa.
  • The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
  • Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.
  • Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.
  • The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.

Causes Lassa fever
 The main cause of Lassa virus is a rodent known as the Multimammate Rat of the genus Mastomys but it is not sure that which species of Mastomys are associated with Lassa fever.
* Avoid direct contact with rats
* If rat eat your grain or other food the virus could transfer to the food.
* It may also spread through person-to-person contact when a person comes into contact with virus in the blood, tissue, secretions, or excretions of an individual infected with the Lassa virus.

How to Prevent Lassa fever
Avoid contact between rats and human beings
Isolating infected patients from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course

  • Block all rat hideouts
  • Cook all foods thoroughly
  • Cover all foods and water properly.
  • If you suspect that rat has eaten any food, discard it
  • Keep your house and Environment clean
  • Store foodstuffs in rodent proof containers
  • Transmission of the Lassa virus from rodent to humans can be prevented by avoiding contact with Mastomys rodents(The rat that causes Lassa fever).
  • Wearing protective clothing, such as Masks, gloves, gowns, and Glasses

Symptoms/Signs of Lassa fever
·  Abdominal Pain
·  Back Pain
·  Chest Pain
·  Conjunctivitis
·  Cough
·  Diarrhea
·  Facial Swelling
·  Fever
·  Mucosal Bleeding
·  Proteinuria
·  Sore Throat
·  Vomiting

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