How to protect yourself against this deadly disease

LASSA fever is sweeping through Nigeria and causing a state of emergency in various states. Here's how to best protect yourself against it.

Key Facts

Causes of Lassa fever

The main cause of Lassa virus is a rodent known as the Multimammate Rat of the genus mastomys but it is not sure that which species of mastomys are associated with Lassa fever.

-Avoid direct contact with rats-If rat eat your grain or other food the virus could transfer to the food.-It may also spread through person-to-person contact when a person comes into contact with virus in the blood, tissue, secretions, or excretions of an individual infected with the Lassa virus.

Symptoms/Signs of Lassa fever

Abdominal PainBack PainChest PainConjunctivitisCoughDiarrheaFacial SwellingFeverMucosal BleedingProteinuriaSore ThroatVomiting

How to diagnose Lassa fever

Lassa virus is diagnosed by doing a laboratory test in a test centre and can be discovered in three ways: 1.  Isolating the virus from blood, urine, or throat washings. 2.  Demonstrating the presence of immunoglobuline M (IgM) antibody to Lassa virus. 3.  Showing a fourfold rise in titer of IgG antibody between acute- and convalescent-phase serums.

How to protect yourself against Lassa fever

Avoid contact between rats and human beingsIsolating infected patients from contact with unprotected persons until the disease has run its course

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