Pulse.ng lists Lassa fever prevention tips for homes, public places and health workers.
What is Lassa fever?
Lassa Fever is a fever caused by the Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses which is predominantly found in west Africa.
Rodents (Rats) are the known vectors of the Lassa virus.
The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
It is also transmitted through contact of bodily fluids (including urine and sweat), faeces or blood with an infected person.
So far, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Central African Republic are the countries with known cases of Lassa fever.
Keep rats out of the house and food supplies.
Ensure all foods are well cooked before eating.
Keep your home clean and maintain personal hygiene.
Dispose all refuse far away from your home.
Avoid bodily fluid and blood contact while caring for a sick person.
Ensure all foodstuffs are put in rodent-proof containers.
Health workers should always apply standard infection prevention and control precautions when caring for patients.
Use protective gears like gloves, nose masks, laboratory coats, and goggles when attending to patients.
Ensure safe burial practises.
Only trained staffs should handle blood samples taken from humans or animals for Lassa fever investigations.
Educate the public on Lassa fever prevention.
Keep infected patients isolated.
Public places are almost unavoidable, from entering public buses to churches, schools etc. Because you cannot tell who is virus free and who is not, it is necessary you to take safety measures.
Avoid body contacts with sweaty people.
Avoid roadside foods, unless you are sure the food was properly cooked.
Wash and sanitize your hands always.