Be Careful: Lassa Fever Resurfaces In Nigeria
Update for January 2019:
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday, 22 January 2019, declared an outbreak of Lassa Fever in eight states. The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said there had been an increase in reported Lassa fever cases across the country since the beginning of the year.
“As at January 13, 2019, a total of 60 confirmed cases have been reported in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, FCT, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba states. Given this increase in reported cases of Lassa fever, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has declared this an outbreak and activated an Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate the response,” Ihekweazu said.
What Is LassaFever?
It is an acute and often fatal viral disease often acquired from infected rats. If infected, early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival outcomes.
How Is Lassa Fever Transmitted?
- Exposure to urine or faeces of infected rats
- Direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of an infected person
- Through contaminated medical equipment, such as re-used needles
- By sexual intercourse
What Are The Symptoms Of Lassa Fever?
- Fever and general weakness
- Sore throat
- Muscle and chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting &diarrhea
- Bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tracts
- Low blood pressure
In advanced cases:
- Shock, seizures and tremors
- Disorientation and coma
Advice from Hygeia HMO
- Clean your home, shops and offices thoroughly
- Dispose refuse appropriately and far from your home
- Store food in rodent proof containers
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid contact with blood and bodily fluids of infected persons
- Health care workers should always apply standard infection precautions when caring for patients
To report any case of suspected Lassa Fever, please contact the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health using the following numbers: 08093810105, 08163215251, 08031571667 and 08135050005.
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