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Lassa Fever: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Lassa fever is basically a viral disease. In other words, this is a disease that is passed from one person to another by way of virus. The virus was first discovered in 1969 in Nigeria and since then it has dispersed to other different countries not only in Africa but beyond as well.

lassa_fiverrIt is important to first note that Lassa Virus belongs to the Arenaviridae Family. It is therefore seen as a similar organism to Ebola. It is absolutely necessary for everyone to understand the key concepts in relation to Lassa fever. This includes the cause, symptoms, treatment, and even prevention.

Causes

Like earlier stated, Lassa fever is caused by a virus known as Lassa. The ailment hits when the virus is passed from one person to another. There are some key things that if exposed to human directly can lead to transmission of Lassa fever. Among them include:

  • Urine-If by any chance you get in contact with urine from a person with Lassa fever, the likelihood of acquiring the ailment is high.
  • Faeces- Just like urine, any material that is defaecated from human body can pose a threat especially if it bears the Lassa virus. If you get in contact with such materials, you will stand the risk of catching Lassa fever.
  • Mastomys rats- This is a certain species of rats that are believed to be instrumental in transmission of Lassa fever. It is greatly advised that you avoid any contact with infected Mastomys rats since that can be a massive threat.
  • Blood- In a case where two open wounds come together, whereby one of them is infected with Lassa fever, then the virus may be transferred. This usually happens in accidents.

Symptoms

These are indicators that you are developing Lassa fever in your body. In the case of any ailment, it is always advised that you understand the symptoms well since this is the only way you can limit the spread of the said disease. Among the signs that should raise an alarm include:

  • Body weakness- you might realize that your body is generally fatigued such that you can hardly move your organs comfortably.
  • Headaches- Victims may experience migraines or mild headaches depending on the intensity of the disease.
  • Gradually increasing Fever- The fever may start as slight and gradually turn massive.

Treatment

Lassa fever is basically treated using antiviral drugs. This is because the disease is in itself viral. The main drug that is used in treating Lassa fever is Ribavirin. Medics may also implement strategies that are aimed at controlling.

  • Blood pressure
  • Electrolyte balance
  • Oxygenation

Prevention

There are things that you can do to ensure that your chances of catching Lassa fever are low. They always say that prevention is better than cure. It would be best to use the necessary strategies to avoid this ailment. Among the things that you should do include:

  • Avoid direct contact with faecal materials.
  • Avoid direct contact with urine from an infected person.

Avoid contact with blood and any other body secretion of a person infected with Lassa fever.

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