Lassa fever is a rat-transmitted viral illness. It mostly affects individuals in West Africa, where over 300,000 cases of Lassa fever are reported each year, with about 5,000 deaths.
The disease was named after the Nigerian town of Lassa, where it was identified in 1969 following the deaths of two missionary nurses.
The Lassa fever virus usually only produces moderate symptoms like fever and headaches. However, some people experience more significant symptoms like as bleeding and difficulty breathing. These are potentially fatal.
Who Gets Lassa Fever?
Lassa fever mostly affects people from West Africa, but it’s found in parts of Africa and the Middle East too. Most cases are in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Lassa fever is also found in parts of Europe and South America, but most of those cases are travelers. It’s not spread from person to person. Instead, rats that carry the virus get it from eating infected animals’ blood or feces. The World Health Organization (WHO) says people who come into contact with rats who may have the virus or their blood can get infected too if they don’t wash their hands well afterward or don’t have gloves on when they handle raw meat.
How Does Lassa Fever Spread?
Lassa fever is spread by rats that’ve been bitten or scratched. Rats can also pass the virus from one generation to the next. Humans may get Lassa fever if they eat food made from rats that carry the virus, especially if they don’t cook it well. The virus can also be passed through sex, breast milk and blood transfusions.
Who’s at Risk for Lassa Fever?
Most cases of Lassa fever are in West Africa, especially Nigeria.
But people from Europe or North America who travel to charities and hospitals in parts of Africa where Lassa fever is common can get the virus. It’s also transmitted from mothers to babies during childbirth or through breastfeeding. People who have recovered from the disease may still pass it on during sex because the virus remains in their bodies for weeks after infection. Newborn babies born to infected mothers may suffer serious effects too.
Symptoms That Shouldn’t be Ignored
Early symptoms of Lassa fever include high fever, bleeding and diarrhea. About 60 percent of all people newly infected get bloody diarrhea as their first symptom and 20 percent will vomit blood within one week after they get sick with it. In most others that’ll develop jaundice (a yellowing of skin), little red spots above the eyes, a rash called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that causes liver abnormalities and can lead to kidney failure and death), and fever (fevers up to 39 degrees Celsius or 102 degrees Fahrenheit).
These symptoms overlap with those caused by many other, less dangerous diseases. Symptoms that suggest something bigger than Lassa fever are drowsiness, painful feet, vomiting blood or weight loss. About 60 percent of all people developing Lassa also have one or more hemorrhagic fevers at some point before they’re treated for it along with several hours worth of
How Is Lassa Fever Diagnosed?
People get Lassa fever only when they’re bitten by rats that carry the disease. If a person isn’t showing certain signs, those signs can be caused by other diseases. Since it’s often possible to modify symptoms if Lassa fever is suspected, people should see a doctor or nurse to have the disease checked out. When visiting a physician, mention your contact with bats or rodents in countries where Lassa virus causes cases of hemorrhagic fever as well as rodent bites and scratches you might have received.
The doctor will likely order blood and urine tests to help confirm Lassa infection and rule out other diseases. Testing for HIV and hepatitis B are generally also done since these diseases can cause unusual symptoms similar to those caused by hemorrhagic fevers. And blood cultures may be taken from patients who exhibit bloody stool (looks like black coffee) suggesting thrush (abnormal color change in saliva caused by yeast), that is known to occur in very severely ill, poorly nourished children with enteritis (enlarged intestine).
Getting Antibiotics for the Illness
Most people who get a diagnosis of Lassa fever won’t need antibiotics until they develop severe diarrhea even after having been transported to hospital’s tropical swamp-like areas to treat them(dumping wet feet into buckets of warm). Any antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim or chloramphenicol should be given lifelong if prescribed instead of any that
What Are the Treatments for Lassa Fever?
Acute cutaneous Lassa fever is always treated as a severe condition. Treatment requires supportive measures only. Most cases are mild and treatable, with no need for antibiotics. As with any hemorrhagic febrile illness, it may be safe to leave children untreated until they develop flu-like symptoms, which usually occur within three days of Lassa Fever infection.
In acute cases of Lassa fever requiring hospitalization and supportive care in a hospital-based ward, all infected persons should receive three days’ worth of oral ciprofloxacin and two intramuscular doses two weeks apart for 4 weeks, plus four ambulatory visits to check for self treatment if affected by hydrohaemorrhages.
But is it Possible to Counteract the Effects of Bat Bites and Get Rid of the Bites at Home?
The usual home remedy for unwanted teeth pain from an infected dog bite is mixing 5 Drops of Hydrogen Peroxide in 5 Ml Water; but taking this homeopathic remedy also provide instant relief from anaemia as well as an immediate vaccine whereby bad effects wither away after 6 days; this happens because hydrogen peroxide destroys the latent viral germs in your body.. I found Hydrogen Peroxide through my mom who suffers from Spina Bifida thanks to a bat bite among other early injury’s in her childhood
How Can You Help Prevent Lassa Fever?
Avoid unprotected contact with bats, as well as “bush meat”(meat illegally hunted in the forest hunting grounds)
Handle carcasses of hunting animals; use aluminum foils to cover butcher’s knives. Powdery scabies burrows find their way between the toes of the animals taken for cooking the meat; owners should wear surgical gloves and wash hands immediately after work. They should then wash thoroughly and gently scrub all
Fast facts on Lassa fever –
- Lassa fever is not uncommon in Nigeria. It was first introduced to that country in 1952. Most cases go unnoticed and do not lead to death but healthcare workers..
- At least 3711 cases were documented in Nigeria between 2005 and 2006 alone. In 2011, only 475 fatal cases had been recorded while sporadic deaths continued to occur. On March 19, 2014, more than 70 people were feared dead after a town near the river source of two epidemics transmitted Lassa fever spread by bats.
- As of March 2014, the virus has never caused a single fatality in Egypt or India. In Iran, around 52 suspected cases have been reported since 2007 with no fatalities and three healthy children have born so far following infections caused via sexual and breast milk transmission. Single case patients that survived Lassa fever are disadvantaged in several areas..
- No-one is completely protected against Lassa fever because the incubation period of the disease is normally 4-7 days; but veterinarians can reduce this to just a day through frequent washing and good hygiene. Federal lesson plans for social studies teach students about epidemics such as SARS(severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, H1N1(swine flu) in 2009 and MERS (meres coronavirus)2011 which spread cases to 32 people triggering widespread death. These were two influenza viruses believed to be defective strains of regular “bird flu” type A(H5N1).
- To educate school children about personal safety from Lassa Fever, parents at Lakemba NSW, Australia adopted a smoking demonstrator role by pucks hitting these during presentations on coughing green balls, sneezing red balls and water fountain pearls respectively.
- For development of personal protection garments omitted building materials with appropriate spray direction signs on danger area must be address to advertise hidden hazards encountered during some handling procedures both office workers and tradesmen at work use chemicals like insecticides for bedbug control especially for unfinished house-painting to avoid transferring disease causing micro organisms near ones body.