According to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, the latest outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria has led to the death of 29 people this month. With 195 confirmed case reported across 11 states, it is important we know exactly what we’re dealing with. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Lassa Fever is a viral illness that typically occurs in West Africa.
How is it spread?
The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans mainly through handling rats, food or house-hold 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.
Worthy of note, you cannot get Lassa Fever through hugging, shaking hands or sitting near someone.
Symptoms move from phase 1 to phase 3 in the following order; fatigue, general weakness, fever, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, face swelling, low blood pressure, and nose bleeding.
How to prevent it
Good Personal Hygiene: wash hands regularly with soap under running water.
Good Food Hygiene: cook food properly and cover food from rodent.
Store foodstuff in rodent-proof containers.
Proper Sanitation: keep house and environment clean.
Dispose of waste materials properly, away from your living quarters.
Keep Rodents Away: use rodent repellent methods like rat gum or rat poison and block holes they use in gaining entry into the house.
While this might be troubling news, it is advisable we stay calm and not panic. We have nothing to worry about if we follow all the necessary safety precautions and stay vigilant for symptoms in those around us. It is also imperative that we educate as many people as we can in our community and sphere of influence.
Stay safe and share this with your friends and family!
Written By: Ibrahim ‘UnilagOlodo’ Salawu