Lassa fever: causes, diagnosis, prevention & treatment

Lassa fever: causes, diagnosis, prevention & treatment

You probably are wondering what exactly the lassa fever is. In this article we tell you all there is to know about the disease.

All you need to know about lassa fever disease causes, diagnosis, prevention & treatment

Origins of Lassa fever in Nigeria outbreak

Lassa fever disease is cause by Lassa virus. It is more of a viral hemorrhagic fever, just like a common disease known as Ebola. Lassa fever and Ebola have differences like on their transmission. Lassa fever is also commonly known as Lassa Hemorrhagic Fever (LHF).

The village where the disease was derived brought the Lassa fever meaning after the virus caused the death of two missionary nurses in Nigeria. This means that Lassa fever was first discovered in Nigeria at a village called Lassa in 1969. Lassa fever disease is common during the dry seasons.

The most recent outbreak of lassa fever in Nigeria

Lassa fever scientific name is Mastomys natalensis. It is a deadly disease because the patient’s chance of survival is very minimal and Lassa fever vaccine is not yet discovered. Lassa fever incubation period is within 2-3 weeks. In the last 2 months of 2018, the number of patients with Lassa fever have greatly escalated. Read on to know Lassa fever causes and prevention. You can will also be able to know Lassa fever treatment and prevention. This article will give you all measures to observe from this deadly disease.

Ways in which lassa fever is transmitted

  • Lassa fever is spread to humans through inhaling air from multimammate rat feces and urine.
  • Direct contact of the rodent’s feces or urine.
  • Direct contact with an infected human’s blood secretion and excretions like sexual contact, open sores and cuts
  • Infected breastfeeding parents can also spread the disease via to their babies through breast milk.
All you need to know about lassa fever disease causes, diagnosis, prevention & treatment

Causes of lassa fever

The Multimammate Rat is the main cause of the deadly disease. Therefore:

  1. Direct contact with the rodents should be avoided.
  2. Don’t take any foods mostly grains eaten by the rodents especially rats.
  3. Avoid direct contact with an infected person.

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Common signs and symptoms of lassa fever

  1. Vomiting
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Fever
  4. Sore Throat
  5. Cough
  6. Chest Pain
  7. Abdominal Pain
  8. Proteinuria
  9. Difficulty when swallowing
  10. Stomach ache
  11. Hepatitis
  12. Facial Swelling
  13. Back Pain
  14. Conjunctivitis
  15. Mucosal Bleeding
All you need to know about lassa fever disease causes, diagnosis, prevention & treatment

Can lassa fever be diagnosed?

Lassa fever diagnosis can be through a test in your nearest laboratory approved by the FDA of having reliable equipment to detect the disease. This is because some of it symptoms are common to other diseases like malaria.

How to Prevent Lassa Fever

Ways of preventing Lassa virus is by observing the following measures:

  • You should maintain your personal hygiene.
  • Avoid direct contact with infected people.
  • Use rodent-proof containers to store your grains.
  • Practice to correctly dispose off your garage away from households.
  • Ensure that all rodents hideouts are blocked.
  • You should make sure you cook your food thoroughly.
  • Practice wearing of protective clothes like gloves.

Treatment of Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is spread through direct contact with body secretions and excretion, meaning that the patients should only be admitted in hospitals with isolated facilities. The most effective antiviral drug that has been treating Lassa fever patience is Ribavirin.

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