Preventive Measures you need to know about Lassa Fever
- Covenant University Health Centre Enlightens Community
With the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever in the country, Covenant University Health Centre has taken it upon its self through its Disease Prevention and Control Unit, to educate the University community and the environs on the preventive measures against Lassa fever.
Giving an overview of Lassa Fever, Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Covenant University Health Centre, Dr. Anigbogu Chukwunonso, described the fever as an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of one to four weeks duration that occurs in West Africa adding that the fever is a zoonotic disease.
According to him, “Humans become infected from contact with infected animals. Lassa Fever is endemic in parts of West Africa, particularly Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where animal reserviour, the multimammate rat is prevalent”.
Dr. Anigbogu said further that transmission of the virus to humans normally occur through contamination of broken skin via direct or indirect contact with infected rodent excreta, on floors, home surfaces, in food or water, or when a person inhales tiny particles in the air contaminated with rodents excretions.
Educating the university community on the symptoms of the virus, he said, “The onset of the disease is gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, and feeling of illness. After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausa, vomiting, cough, abdominal pain may follow and bleeding from the nose and mouth, may also develop”.
He added that, “Deafness occurs in 25% of patients who survive the disease and half of these cases, hearing returns partially after one to three months, transient hair loss and gait disturbance may occur during recovery and death usually occurs within fourteen days of onset in fatal cases”.
Emphasing the importance of the Lassa Fever awareness at the different enlightenment forum in Canaanland, Ota and environs, Dr. Anigbogu urged the participants to prevent the virus by avoiding contacts with rodents, keep every home clean and putting food away in rodents-proof container.
Preventing person to person transmission, he said, “Always take preventive precautions against contact with Lassa Fever patients’ secretions and isolating infected patients from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course”.
The canaanland communities privileged to have this awareness includes Kingdom Heritage Model School, Faith Academy and Covenant University Secondary School as well as Ota Communities.