Lassa Fever Updates: Details You Need To Know About

About 258 confirmed cases of Lassa fever and 41 deaths have been reported in 19 states as at 3rd February 2020.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated a National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to coordinate response and mitigate the increasing number of Lassa fever cases across the country.

Lassa Fever Situation Report – Borno State.

Lassa Fever Situation Report – Adamawa State.

Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who disclosed this on Friday, noted that 89% of confirmed cases are from Ondo, Edo and Ebonyi States.

Some Key Facts You Should Know

  • Lassa fever is endemic in West Africa due to ecological factors as it is a region predominantly infested by rodents.
  • Lassa fever outbreaks occur every year. The number of people infected peaks between December and June.

What Is Lassa Fever?

Lassa fever is an illness caused by Lassa virus. It is an acute febrile viral illness lasting one to four weeks, and it occurs in West Africa and some areas beyond.

It is endemic in countries like Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria and probably exists in other West African countries as well.

General Outbreak Distribution

What Are The Symptoms?

Early symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Headache

These symptoms show between 7 – 21 days after exposure to the virus.

Severe symptoms include:

  • bleeding gums
  • Breathing problems
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Dangerously low blood pressure

Transmission, Causes and Risk Factors

The Lassa fever typically spreads from animals, particularly rodents, to humans.

Lassa fever is largely transmitted through contact with items or surfaces contaminated with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats.

It can also be transmitted from person-to-person through contact with blood, urine, faeces and other body fluids of an infected person.

It is worth noting that people most often become infected by inhaling air contaminated with aerosols of rodent excretions, swallowing the virus in food or contaminated utensils, preparing and eating rodents (delicacies like bushmeat), and contact with open wounds.

Infection can be minimized if members of the public take note of the following instructions:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Keep environment clean
  • Avoid contact with rodents

Find out more details and facts about Lassa Fever here.

Read Also: The Global Status Of The Coronavirus So Far.

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