Lassa fever – Nigeria
4 new cases of Lassa fever have been reported in Nigeria.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by direct and indirect with the multimammate rat, or via person to person transmission. Symptoms break out 3 to 21 days after the infection and include fever, headache, sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pains, chest pain, and in severe cases, unexplainable bleeding from ears, eyes, nose, mouth and other body openings. The disease can be lethal.
The total case number for Nigeria has climbed to 369 for 2021. 3 out of the 4 new cases have died, raising the number of deaths to 76 for all of 2021.
Lassa fever cases are expected to rise throughout the Nigerian dry season, which starts in November and ends in May
Photo: Lassa fever virus – Electron micrograph
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus. Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms but for 1 percent of those infected, death occurs in the first two weeks. The disease is usually initially spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected mouse. Spread can then further continue between people.
There is no vaccine. Prevention requires isolating those who are infected and decreasing contact with mice.
Descriptions of the disease date from the 1950s. The virus was first described in 1969 from a case in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria. Lassa fever is relatively common in West Africa.
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