lassa fever is an acute viral infectious disease which is endemic in West Africa.
The disease is gradual in onset with non-specific signs and symptoms.
About 80% of infectionsinfection are mild or without symptoms , however the disease can be severe and fatal.
The incubation period is between 2-21days.
Signs and symptoms
Early symptoms include: fever, general weakness , and malaise .
In severe cases facial swelling , fluid in the lung cavity , bleeding tendencies (from the mouth , nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract ). The may result in low blood pressure and shock.
After a few days, headache, sore throat , muscle pain, chest pain , nausea , vomiting , diarrhoea , cough and abdominal pain may follow.
The disease may present like Ebola, yellow fever, malaria , typhoid fever, respiratory tract infections, ear, nose, and throat infections etc
How Lassa Fever spread
Lassa Fever is transmitted to humans through contact with urine , salvia, faeces and blood of rodents. e.g. rat.
Sharp instruments such as needles that have been used by an infected person.
Non-professional handling of persons who have died of Lassa Fever .
Treatment of Lassa Fever
There is an effective drug for treatment if reported early to a health facility .
Promoting good community hygiene in order to discourage rodents from entering home. e.g.
Storing grains and other food stuff in rodent-proof containers
Disposal of garbage should be far from the home.
Burial of death from Lassa Fever should be done by trained persons.
No human vaccine against Lassa Fever