Lassa Fever: Know symptoms, risks and treatment of virus

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World: Amid the threat of COVID-19 across the world, the concern about the Lassa Fever has started looming over the world.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Pollution (CDC), the Lassa fever causing virus was found in West Africa and, for the first time, discovered in Lassa, Nigeria, in 1969. Because of its discovery in Lassa, the virus is known as Lassa fever.

How the virus spreads?

Rats are the cause behind the fever, and it was primarily found in countries of West Africa, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The virus is endemic in Nigeria. The infection can be spread when rats come in contact with the food items and contaminate with urine or faeces of an infected rat.

This might rarely spread when a healthy person comes in contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids and mucous membranes such as the nose, eyes or mouth. In healthcare settings, person to person transmission is more common.

On Monday, according to the Nigerian media, the country has reported around 48 deaths in 2022; of these, the prominent deaths reported were from the 20s age group.

Symptoms of the virus:

According to health experts, the common and mild symptoms of the virus includes – slight fever, fatigue, weakness, and headache. On the other side, difficult breathing, vomiting, bleeding, facial swelling and pain in the chest, back, abdomen and shock are some of the serious symptoms. According to the CDC, the most common complication of the virus is deafness, which in some cases results in permanent hearing impairment.

How infectious can the virus be?

According to the reports by the WHO, the maximum number of infectious people makes a complete recovery, and the health organisation has pegged the overall mortality rate at 1 percent. While the observed rate among the patients admitted to hospitals with severe cases is 15 percent.

However, the UKSHA mentioned that the risk “remains very low” for the people.

Precautions from the virus:

The easiest and best way to avoid the infection is to avoid contact with rats. According to the health experts, individuals must maintain hygiene in the nearby areas to prevent rats from entering the house, keep food in rat-proof containers and lay down rat traps.