Multi-breasted rats are the primary carriers of Lass virus. Photo: Filed
The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has revealed that over 40 (now 43) deaths have been recorded since the latest outbreak of the deadly viral disease, Lassa Fever in Nigeria.
In the last six weeks Nigeria has been experiencing Lassa fever outbreak which so far has affected 10 states in the country. The states affected include Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo state. The total number so far reported is 86 and 40 deaths with the mortality rate of 45%. Our laboratories have confirmed 22 cases so far, indicative of a new round trip of Lassa Fever outbreak.
Lassa fever also known as Lassa Hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral fever first described in Borno state Nigeria in 1969. Similar to Ebola, clinical cases had been known for over a decade but had not been connected with a viral pathogen (anything that causes a disease).
Predominantly infecting people in West Africa, Lassa Fever results in about 5000 deaths each year. The primary animal host is particular specie of rodents (especially mice) found in sub Saharan Africa. Giving its high rate of incidence, Lassa fever is a major problem in affected countries.
The disease can be contacted by:
Ingestion of foods and drinks contaminated by the saliva.
Urine and faeces of infected rats who access grain stores in residences.
Catching and preparing infected rats as food.
Inhaling tiny particles in the air contaminated with infected rat urine or droppings.
Direct contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, through mucous membranes, like eyes, nose, or mouth.
Signs and Symptoms
About 80% of the cases the disease is asymptomatic (carrier experiencing no symptom). It takes a complicated case for the remaining 20%.
After an incubation period of six to 21 days, an acute illness with …Read More
Source:: The NET