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Lassa Fever : What you need to know.

ON LASSA FEVER:

Lassa Fever Epidemic is with us again. About ten states have reported about 91 cases with mortality of 40%. This necessitates this fact sheet on d disease for everyone.

EPIDEMIOLOGY:

Lassa Fever is an Acute Febrile disease caused by d Lassa virus belonging to d arena virus group. It was first described in d 50s & d virus was isolated in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria.
Lassa Fever occurs more often in d dry season, rather than d rainy season.
D multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) is d reservoir host of Lassa fever.
Deafness is a common sequela in up to 1/3 of cases.
Case fatality rate varies from as low as 1%-25% to as high as 50%.
D death rates are particularly high for women in d third trimester of pregnancy & for fetuses, about 95% of which die in d uterus of infected pregnant mothers.

Cases have been reported January 2016 in Bauchi, Kano, Nassarawa, Niger, Rivers, Edo, Lagos, Taraba and FCT

TRANSMISSION:
Humans usually become infected from exposure to excreta of infected rats (Mastomys) via direct exposure to their excreta.
Lassa virus may also be spread b/w humans through direct contact with d blood, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of a person with Lassa Fever.
There is no epidemiological evidence supporting airborne spread between humans.
Person-to-person transmission occurs in both community & health care settings where d virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment such as re-used needles.
Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.
Incubation Period is usually 10 days but can range from 6-21 days.
Case Definition:

a) Suspected case: Illnesses with onset of fever, with or without sore throat & at least one of d following signs: bloody diarrhea, bleeding from gums, bleeding into skin (purpura), bleeding into eyes & urine.

b) Confirmed case: A suspected case with laboratory confirmation (positive IgM antibody or viral isolation) or epidemiological link to confirm cases or outbreaks.

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About Perry Martins

Perry Martins is One of Nigeria’s foremost gospel music and Christian Entertainment blogger. Also Radio and TV host. But then I am your regular guy down the street.

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