LASSA FEVER

Description

It is a hemorrhagic fever virus from the family Arenaviridae

Symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Slight fever
  • General malaise
  • Hemorrhaging (in gums, eyes, or nose)
  • Respiratory distress
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Facial swelling
  • Pain in chest, back, and abdomen
  • Shock

Causes

  • Arenavirus
  • Swallowing virus in contaminated food and househlod items
  • Inhaling aerosols in air contaminated with rodent excretions
  • Open wounds

Risk Factors

  • Travelers to West Africa
  • Areas with poor sanitation or crowding
  • Healthcare
  • laboratory professionals serving in affected areas
  • Pregnant women

Diagnostic Tests

  • ELISA
  • Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
  • Immunohistochemistry

Treatment

  • Antiviral drug(Ribavirin)
  • Supportive care that consists of maintainance of:
  • Oxygenation
  • Blood pressure
  • Treatment of complicating infections
  • Appropriate fluid and electrolyte balance

Prevention

  • Avoid contact with Mastomys rats
  • Put food away in rat-proof containers
  • Keep the house clean
  • Wear protective clothing ( masks, gowns, gloves and goggles )
  • Sterilization of equipment
  • Educating people who live in high-risk areas about ways to lower the rat populations
  • Isolate infected people from contact with unprotected persons until the disease suffices