Outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria: measures for prevention and control
According to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, there’s been another outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria.
Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that in 2020, there are 398 suspected cases, 163 confirmed incidences and 24 deaths, with Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) of 15.7 percent in nine states and 32 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
The cases were reported in Bauchi, Ebonyi, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Taraba. 89% of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38%), Ondo (38%) and Ebonyi (11%) states
The government is making conscious efforts to contain the Lassa fever virus but there are some measures you can take to keep yourself safe and away from the infection.
Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria, there is usually an increase in the dry season, which spans from November till May. The Lassa fever virus is transmitted by rodents, multimammate(rats with many breasts) rats which can be found in our environment but there are other contributing factors such as, infected bodily fluids, contaminated hospital equipment, contaminated home items. This contributes largely to the risk of spread that occurs in Nigeria and other countries with similar ecological factors.
There’s currently no vaccine to protect against Lassa fever that’s why we dominantly depend on other strengthening ways to combat the disease such as proper sanitation, good personal hygiene and some standard health precautions to keep rodents away.
The symptoms usually take one to three weeks before showing signs and they include fever, cough, back pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, facial swelling, abdominal pain, constipation, and sore throat. If you notice any or all of these symptoms you should report to your nearest health facility for immediate check up and treatment.