So, Lassa fever is back. Again. All the warnings sound like big big grammar, so we are going to try to simplify it.
So, what does this mean?
Lassa fever is a viral illness caused by rats. It is usually found in parts of West Africa including Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria. The animal in charge of spreading it is called a multimammate rat.
Okay. What are the symptoms?
Not everyone infected by the virus has symptoms. When it occurs, it comes with fever, weakness, vomiting, headache. Less common symptoms include bleeding from the mouth or eye. Also, deafness has been reported.
Hmmm. How do people get infected?
It can be spread by eating food contaminated by faeces and urine of the rat that spreads it. If you come in contact with clothing soiled by the rat’s faeces you can also get infected. Exposure to air contaminated by rat faeces is another risk factor. ie sweeping areas where the excrements are found. This is my new excuse to ditch house chores – E go be.
Ah. Okay. How does this concern me?
Like any illness, getting affected by it will greatly stress the quality of your life and your wallet. Not to scare you but there’s also the increased risk of death associated with this illness.
So, what can I do?
Till we get an all-clear from relevant health authorities, you should try to ensure regular hand washing with clean water and soap as many times as possible. Also, if you can avoid eating at mama put during this period, do so. Proper food storage – if you steal meat from the pot, ensure you cover it well afterwards. Store foodstuff in plastic containers. Furthermore, proper hygiene should be practised to discourage rodent population. Regular cleaning and emptying of trash can help achieve this.
Is it…Is it….treatable?
Good news is that it is treatable, but you must present early to a proper hospital. Not a roadside chemist but a well-equipped hospital with actual certified doctors. Certified healthcare providers are the only ones capable of properly taking care of an infected person.
Please, give us a summary. Like cool tweetable points :
Lassa fever is named after the town in Nigeria where it was first discovered.
It is spread by rodents.
The symptoms include headache, fever, weakness.
It is treatable as long as you present on time to a qualified healthcare professional.
Proper hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent this illness.
If you found this helpful, let us know in the comments section.