Lassa fever is an acute, viral, and life-threatening illness carried by a particular type of rat common in West Africa. It is hemorrhagic in nature (can cause bleeding), could have no symptoms and if it affects the liver, kidneys, or spleen it can be very fatal.
Lassa fever is transmitted from the urine or feces of rats to humans and it is not as contagious or as deadly as the Ebola virus.
Read further here in this article the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of this disease.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF LASSA FEVER
You can contract Lassa fever by consuming or inhaling an infected rat’s urine or feces. This means that the disease can spread easily especially because these rats breed rapidly and live in human homes.
It can also be contacted through cuts and open sores. Sometimes people eat these rats and they often come into contact with foodstuffs, transmission from person to person is also possible via contact with blood, tissue, secretions but not through touch.
Photo Credit: Al Jazeera
Bleeding in the gums, nose, eyes, or any other place
Difficulty in breathing/swollen airways
Vomiting and diarrhea both will blood
Pain in the chest, abdomen, and back
High or low blood pressure
Seizures and shock
Sometimes deafness, and this can be permanent and total
LASSA FEVER TREATMENT
If there is an early diagnosis, then an antiviral drug called ribavirin is very useful in the treatment of Lassa fever. Other treatments procedures help in managing fluid levels, electrolyte balance, oxygenation, and blood pressure.
FOR UTMOST PREVENTION, you should endeavor to practice ‘community hygiene’ to control the rat population in and around where you live. You should also:
Wash your hands regularly
Store food items properly and away from rodent reach
Keep the garbage away from home
Keeping pets away from the house from time to time
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