• Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illnessof 2-21 days.

 

  • Transmission to humans:
  •   Primarily through contact with food or household items contaminated with    rodent’s urine  or   faeces.

            

  • Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection preventive and control measures.

                        

  • Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well. A recent outbreak has been reported in Nigeria with severe cases resulting in death
  • When symptomatic, Lassa fever presentation is usually gradual, with fever, general weakness, and malaise. It later progresses to headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain. In severe cases facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop
  • The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%.
  • Lassa fever can be prevented through practicing good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households, and other measures to discourage rodents from entering homes. Hand washingis highly important and should be practiced frequently.
  • Early detection and initiation of supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival.

 

 

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