Lassa fever is spread when its virus is shed in the urine and droppings of the rats, hence can be transmitted through direct contact, touching objects or eating food contaminated with these materials or through cuts or sores.
The onset of the disease is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, muscle and joint pains, prostration and malaise.
After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough and abdominal pain may follow.
“In severe cases facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop; shock, seizures, tremor, disorientation and coma and death may be seen in the later stages.
WHAT TO DO?
In the event that somebody close to you begin to manifest with the symptoms and signs as above, call for help using your local emergency number. Then avoid unnecessary direct body contact with the patient. Remember Lassa fever is gotten from direct body contact with infected persons.
Also, cover all raw foods in protective containers to keep the domestic rats away from them. Ensure that you properly cook all your meals and keep all waste far from human living rooms. Maintain a high personal hygiene and keep your surroundings neat.
Remember not to panic as Lassa fever infection is not a death sentence. There is cure for it, so report to the hospital on time.
WHO TO CALL?
The management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos State, has said any suspected case of Lassa fever is to be reported to the response team in LUTH on