Lassa fever back in Ogun State – Facts & prevention tips & information

A mouse - potential Lassa fever spreader

A mouse – potential Lassa fever spreader

Resurgence of Lassa fever just 4 months after Ogun state was declared Lassa fever-free, has claimed the lives of two at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta. The victims are an assistant nursing officer, Abolanle Adesuyi and a serving corps member, whose identity could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.
Adesuyi was said to have attended to the corps member who had contacted the virus while working as morgue attendant in the hospital.
Following the strange death of the two, the hospital management was said to have carried out at test at the University College Hospital, Ibadan to determine the cause of the death which was confirmed to be Lassa fever.
Several patients were said to have begged for discharged and many medical personnel deserted the hospital on hearing the news. A doctor and a nurse are currently being monitored for the virus at the intensive care unit of the hospital.
The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Segun Orisajo confirmed that the FMC, Abeokuta lost an assistant chief nursing officer, Bolanle Adesuyi to the virus. He also said that decontamination exercise has been commenced.
The Commissioner of health for the state, Dr Babatunde Ipaye has confirmed the incident and deaths, whilst allaying the panic and fear of the hospital staff and public. Officers of the Ministry of Health have also started contact tracing to determine the number of individuals that may be at risk of infection.

Important facts, information & prevention of Lassa fever

1. Lassa fever is one of the types of haemorrhagic fevers that affects human beings and could lead to sudden death. Other haemorrhagic fevers are Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Dengue and Yellow fever.
2. Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria. It was first discovered in a town called Lassa in Borno state in 1969, hence its name.
3. The symptoms of Lassa fever include; fever, headache, body weakness, cough, dry and sore throat, vomiting, chest pain, stomach ache, bleeding from the mouth, nose and other body orifices.
4. It is transmitted by rodents and rats and can be gotten from infected people (usually contaminated body fluids and blood)
5. Lassa fever can be effectively treated with Ribavirin, an anti-viral agent.
6. Death from lassa fever is less than 1%, however during epidemic it can rise to 50% especially when infected individuals do not seek medical help on time.
7. Anyone who notices any the above symptoms should report to the hospital.

Quick infographic from WHO about Lassa fever transmission

WHO Infographic - how Lassa fever is transmitted

WHO Infographic – how Lassa fever is transmitted


Author: Elizabeth Ajide

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