Lassa fever: Prevention is in Your Hands


Lassa fever is a disease from the infectious agent, Lassa virus. This fever is endemic in certain country such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and also Nigeria. Congo, Mali and Senegal reported to have serological human infection as well.

Lassa fever
Lassa Fever Investigation (Dr. Pierre Rollin dissecting rat specimens) by Mike Blyth (MikeBlyth)

How the virus spread?

In West Africa, the reservoir for the virus is the wild rodents. Wild rodents, including the mouse is carrying the virus if the rodent is infected. The urine, stool, blood, saliva and the mucus of the infected rodent is full of viruses. Human can get the virus if accidently touched, consumed, and any sort of direct contact of the infected rodent excreta as listed above. Virus spread from human to human also possible by sexual contact, air droplets, and direct contact with pharyngeal secretions or urine of the infected person.

The Symptoms

You should seek your doctor immediately if you are experiencing these symptoms, especially when there is an outbreak of Lassa fever in your place:

  • -malaise
  • -fever
  • -headache
  • -myalgia
  • -sore throat,
  • -cough
  • -nausea
  • -vomiting
  • -diarrhoea
  • -chest pain
  • -abdominal pain

You may get these symptoms after 6 to 21 days of exposure to the Lassa virus.

How serious is this disease?

This is an acute viral disease. It is also spreading faster if there is no proper preventive action to be taken. If you have a low immunity and you have another illness, this Lassa fever will make your health condition even worst. You will have the risk of a severe multisystem disease.

This is a very dangerous disease for the pregnant women because they have the lowest immunity at this stage. The chance to have fatal loss is about 80%. Without an early check up or identification, a person who suffer by this disease will get a lot of health problems such as hypotension, haemorrhage, seizures and edema of the face. People can die if the infection is severe and did not receive the proper treatment on time. This is a disease that susceptible to all ages. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for this disease at this moment.

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Lassa Fever Prevention Tips | For Naija
9 months 11 days ago