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LASSA FEVER BACK

If recent reports in the news are anything to go by, it seems the ghost is back from the dead. We thought we had permanently dealt and buried this virus in January after it sent about 50 people to seek their resting place in the grave. However, characteristically of the nation’s non-chalant attitude to situations, even at the death of Dr. Okeke in Asaba Delta state, we did not give it the immediate attention it deserved not until four cases were reported in four different states Plateau, Rivers, Bauchi and Gombe states in the last days of August and 2nd of September 2016. It thus becomes important that we once again equip ourselves with the needed information on how to keep this harbinger of death far away from us.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the following are the signs of Lassa fever:

  • During the early stage of the fever, an infected person will experience general weakness and malaise. It gets worse in days following with the following signs:
  • Headache
  • Sore throat.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Chest pain.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • And some times, abdominal pain.

In severe conditions, infected persons will show the following signs:

  • Facial swelling.
  • Fluid in the lung cavity.
  • Bleeding from the mouth, nose, vaginal or gastrointestinal tract.
  • And sometimes low blood pressure.

TIPS ON PREVENTING LASSA FEVER

  • Cook all foods thoroughly before eating.
  • Throw away any food that has been eaten by rats or that you can see with rat droppings.
  • Disposal of waste properly and cleaning the environment so that rats are not attracted.
  • Store food in rat proof containers.
  • Wash your hands often especially before eating; and before and after using the toilet.
  • Use hand sanitizers regularly.
  • Always wash pots, pans, dishes and cutlery properly before use.
  • If you or anyone around you experiences any of the signs and symptoms of the fever with no improvement, report to the hospital immediately.

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