A university lecturer has claimed that Yoruba people are immune to the Lassa virus which causes Lassa fever.
Prof. Christian Happi, the researcher, who is also the Dean, College of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Biological Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, revealed that the research was still ongoing and the reason for the immunity is yet to be discovered.
Prof. Happi also added that the few cases of Lassa fever recorded among Yoruba people are “imported.”
The National Mirror reports that Prof. Happi, who is also Director, World Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ACEGID, had also revealed that the Lassa fever virus had originated from Nigeria about 1,060 years ago.
Prof. Happi also stressed that the Yorubas have the capacity to resist the virus more than any other ethnic group in Nigeria.
Speaking on new research findings, Prof Happi went on to say that it had been discovered that Ribavirin which is currently being used in the treatment of lassa fever had not been designed for the disease.
He added that the drug would only be effective if administered during the early phase of the infection.