Saturday 6 February 2016

UNIBEN: Lassa Fever Key Facts

There is lassa fever epidemic in parts of Nigeria including Edo State. What is Lassa Fever? Lassa fever is an acute
viral hemorrhagic illness of 1-4 weeks duration. The virus is transmitted to humans via food, water and household items contaminated with human faces, urine, salivation of mastomys rat (rodent).

Symptoms: symptoms of lassa includes, graudual on set of persistent fever (that does not respond to treatment, panadol or usual antibiotics) general weakness and malaise; after few days headaches, sore throat, muscle, cheat pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough and abdominal pain may follow. In severe cases, facial swelling, fluid in the cavity, bleeding from the month, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop seizures and coma can occur in the late stage of the illness

Outcome: The illness can be fatal, but early diagnosis, prompt treatment, supportive care with rehydration symptomatic treatment improve survival.
Personal Action: Any person suspecting lassa fever should immediately report to the center. Please avoid self medication.

Community Health Action : Community 'Health Action'' to control lassa fever includes promoting good ''personal" and ''community hygiene'', as follows:
* Safe hand washing practice.
* Preventing rodents from entering homes.
* Storing grains and other food stuff in rodent - proof containers.
* Compliance with safe disposal of refuse in rodent- proof containers.
* Maintaining clean Household, Hostel, Libraries, laboratories, lecture halls, offices, rest rooms, cafe, clinics. Etc.
* Family members and care givers should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids of sick persons.
* Discard any food suspected to have been eaten by rats.
* Avoid contact between humans and rats.
* Avoid Littering of the Environment, use dustbins.
* Cook all food thoroughly, before consumption.
* Eat hot food.
* Discourage bush burning.
* Fruit and vegetables should be thoroughly washed with clean water before consumptions.
* Use straws to drink bottled and package drinks.

Taskforce Committee on lassa fever
University of Benin, Benin City 2015.

For further information enquires, please contact any of the following numbers
080986888919, 08057862536.

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