How To Protect Yourself Against Lassa Fever 

Have you heard about the new viral killer disease that has killed many in the Western part of Africa, most especially in Nigeria? The disease known as Lassa fever kills.

Just like in the case of Ebola virus that ravaged Africa a while ago, some health workers have lost their lives to Lassa fever after attempting to care and treat initial victims of the disease. Lassa fever in Nigeria is now one of the most dreaded infection.

This viral disease that is linked to rats makes rats your enemies now. In this blog post, you would learn how to protect yourself against the disease Lassa fever.

Before we move ahead, let's have a look at what a Lassa fever is below:

What is Lassa fever?

Lassa fever is a viral disease carried by the multi-mammate rat (Mastomys natalensis). The most common method of transmission is the consumption or inhalation of rat urine or feces. Lassa fever can also be spread through cuts and open sores.

What Are The Symptoms Of Lassa Fever?

The symptoms of Lassa fever are incredibly varied - so much that you can mistake it for another disease. Symptoms generally appear within weeks following infection. These mild infections are characterized by a general malaise, headache and a light fever.

For the 20% of cases where Lassa fever becomes serious, symptoms can include:

1. Hemorrhaging - in the gums, nose, eyes or elsewhere,

2. Difficulty breathing,

3. Cough,

4. Stomach ache,

5. Vomiting and diarrhea (both bloody),

6. Difficulty swallowing food,

7. Hepatitis

8. Swollen face

9. Pain in chest, back and abdomen,

10. Shock,

11. Hearing loss,
12. and abnormal heart rhythms.

Lassa fever is generally diagnosed by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assays (ELISA), which detect lgM and lgG antibodies and Lassa antigens. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) can also be used in the early stages of the disease

lf prescribed early on, the antiviral drug ribavirin has proven useful in fighting Lassa virus. During the course of the disease, it is important to manage fluid levels, electrolyte balance, oxygenation and blood pressure in the patient.

How To Protect Yourself & Household or Workplace Against Lassa Fever

1. Rearrange your kitchen by making it less stocked up. Let your kitchen be spacious and well ventilated. 
2. Cover your foods well, and if possible leave it in the pot and cover it well. 

3. Buy and use rat killers regularly. Many of the anti-rat poisons are very cheap anx it can save you. 

4  Cover your foodstuffs, most especially your garri. If you use sacks of bags to store your  foodstuffs, always close or tie them well.

5. If you notice a cut on the fruits or foods like potatoes or yam you keep in the house, make sure to check if it is a rat or not, and if they're, just throw it away. 

If you discover any of the aforementioned symptoms in you, please do not hesitate to rush down to the hospital for urgent help. 

Early detection of Lassa fever equals early treatment and bigger chances of survival. 

Rats hate a free spaced house because of lack of hiding spaces. By having your home less jam-packed, you have also reduce the rate at which other disease carrying insects like cockroaches will be present. Throw away unneeded and unwanted things in the house, like bags of old clothes, shoes etc., you are no longer using, 

Dear readers, be vigilant to avoid stories that touches the heart. To doctors and nurses, protect yourself when treating victims. Avoid direct exposure to the viral disease. Remember, life has no duplicate, always be smart.