It is no longer news that just like Ebola, another deadly disease is in Nigeria now. There is panic everywhere as well as information about the virus; some true, some half-true. It has become pertinent you know how to avoid Lassa fever.
The Lassa fever virus is transmitted from contact with food or household items that has come in contact with rodent’s excreta. It can spread from human to human through sexual contact, air droplets, and direct contact with pharyngeal secretions or urine of the infected person. The primary host of the virus is the rat.
Lassa fever virus is transmitted through food or household items that has come in contact with rodent’s excreta.
It has been confirmed that pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the virus. There is no vaccine to prevent it’s spread but here are Undisputable Methods to Avoid Being Infected with Lassa Fever:
1) Boost your immune system; Eat good, live right and when you feel physically drained.
- Steer clear of multimammate rats.The rodent mastomys, more commonly known as the multimammate rat, is Lassa fever’s “animal vector” the primary transmitter to humans. They are found in large numbers throughout the endemic region and, like any rat, they thrive in locations where there is accessible human food or trash. The rats are carriers of Lassa fever, but not symptomatic.
- The virus is usually transmitted through contamination of food or surfaces by rat urine or droppings. Eating the rodent, which is not unheard of, may also transmit the virus.
- Steering clear of rats and rat excrement is good practice at all times, but you should take particular care within the endemic region. Avoid areas where there is accessible food or trash, because there is a good chance the rats are there, even if you don’t see them.
Support good “community hygiene” in areas where the virus may be present.The rats that carry Lassa fever are, like their rodent cousins everywhere, too numerous and crafty to be eradicated. The best alternative is to create inhospitable conditions for them, for instance by storing food securely, keeping trash secured and away from living areas, cleaning household floors and surfaces regularly, and possibly by keeping cats around.
- Keeping your own area clean will do little good if your neighbor’s place is a rodent hotel, however. Organizations that are battling Lassa fever regularly promote “community hygiene” programs in an effort to make entire areas less hospitable to rodents.
- Avoid contact with the secretions or excretions of the possibly infected.Casual contact with a person infected with Lassa fever carries no determinable risk of transmission, but avoiding contact with her bodily fluids is essential. Use extreme caution if you are in contact with people who may have Lassa fever, and never try to care for them yourself.
- In one of the rare cases of Lassa fever in the U.S., a traveler who returned from western Africa died in New Jersey in May 2015. As part of the precautions taken, anyone who had been in close proximity to the victim was monitored for 21 days.
- Recognize the symptoms.Some 80% of Lassa fever cases are mild, and may present few symptoms. Milder cases can present like the flu or a gastrointestinal problem — fever, malaise, weakness, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, etc. More serious cases can present with hemorrhaging of the eyes, nose, gums, etc.; respiratory distress; repeated vomiting; facial swelling; severe pain in the chest, back, or abdomen; or neurological problems like hearing loss, tremors, or encephalitis.
- The incubation period is typically six to 21 days, and the illness usually lasts for one to four weeks. In fatal cases, the cause of death is usually multi-organ failure.
- Deafness occurs in about 25% of all cases, regardless of severity otherwise. Of these instances, the hearing loss reverses itself about half of the time, usually in one to three months.
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