Kuulpeeps, you guys need to pay extra attention to what you’re about to read.
Y’all remember the days of Ebola, right?
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has issued an alert to all hospitals about a disease called the Lassa Fever.
According to the GHS, The Ministry of Health of Nigeria has confirmed and subsequently declared Lassa fever outbreak which has affected about 18 Nigerian states with over 300 cases and 31 deaths. The outbreak has been on-going for the past six weeks and has necessitated urgent spontaneous national response actions among all neighbouring countries.
Lassa fever outbreak has been recurrent in Nigeria and the current outbreak has affected health workers in some states.
Now, please note, Lassa Fever has not been recorded in Ghana yet, you just have to be on your guard.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces, or other bodily secretions of a person infected with Lassa fever. Person-to-person transmission occurs in both community and health-care settings, where the virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment, such as re-used needles. Sexual transmission of Lassa virus has been reported.”
Lassa fever occurs in all age groups and both sexes. Persons at greatest risk are those living in rural areas, especially in communities with poor sanitation or crowded living conditions.
The incubation period of Lassa fever ranges from 2–21 days. Meaning, an infected person will only show physical signs of having contracted the disease between 2–21 days.
The onset of the disease, when it is symptomatic, is usually gradual, starting with fever, general weakness, and malaise. After a few days, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, cough, and abdominal pain may follow. In severe cases, facial swelling, fluid in the lung cavity, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop.
Shock, seizures, tremor, disorientation, and coma may be seen in the later stages. Deafness occurs in 25% of patients who survive the disease. In half of these cases, hearing returns partially after 1–3 months. Transient hair loss and gait disturbance may occur during recovery.
Death usually occurs within 14 days of onset in fatal cases.
Prevention of Lassa fever relies on promoting good community hygiene, to discourage rodents from entering homes. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuff in rodent-proof containers, disposing off garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households.
Also, always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons.
Be on the lookout for Lassa fever.