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Lassa Fever: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

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.


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

Difficulty swallowing

Swollen face

Pain in the chest, abdomen, and back

High or low blood pressure

Seizures and shock

Sometimes deafness, and this can be permanent and total


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

Content created and supplied by: DrGeraldine (via Opera News )

Lassa Lassa Fever


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