Lassa Fever: Cross River Government Advises Public On Safety Precautions
Lassa fever is a zoonotic, acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in Nigeria with a 1% fatality rate. In recent times the disease have been found in Cross River state and other neighboring states!
The disease is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces of the Multimammate Rat. Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.
The incubation period of Lassa fever ranges from 6–21 days. The onset of the disease is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, 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.
Due to varied and non-specific symptoms associated with the disease, clinical diagnosis is often difficult, especially early in the course of the disease.
The Cross River State ministry of health is by this notice calling on the general public to be on the alert and report any suspected case, citizens should maintain good personal and environmental community hygiene as a measure of control the spread of Lassa fever across the State.
Bush burning should be avoided as it caused the rodent to come into peoples house and spread the disease. Avoid spreading food items on road side and bushes. Put food stuff in tight properly closed containers and wash your hands as well as kitchen utensils before use. If you suspect any case report to the disease surveillance and notification officer in your LGA or the nearest health facility (do not manage at home!)