How Did We Forget That Lassa Fever Still Exists? Upon All The First Class Indigenous Rats We Have On Full Employment!

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Nigeria, the home of the Rat World Cup? The only Country where Rats hold Senatorial Meetings to review the National Budget and also hold Buffet Services in the Office of the President? The only Country where Rats have accomplished very easily what the opposition PDP cannot accomplish, Chasing the President away from Office! Nigerian Rats are one in a million, I mean these Rats even apply for Visas and are granted one by the Embassy, they are Bosses!

Rat 1
All said and pondered, these same mammals carry a very harmful viral disease known as Lassa Fever! Now this disease is very fatal if not promptly treated and bearing in mind that we are in a country full of terrible healthcare systems I really do not know how much we can fight this Epidemic. Not too long ago, there has been an outbreak of Lassa Fever in a significant number of Nigerian States and prior to this, the virus has always been killing scores of Nigerians on a lowkey. My question and concern is how a viral disease and epidemic of this nature has been watered down by the Nigerian Media and even the Public?

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Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa. The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces. Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures. Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well. The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%. Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival, sourced from WHO (World Health Organization). Health care workers in health facilities are particularly at risk of contracting the disease, especially where infection prevention and control procedures are not strictly adhered to.

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Since the beginning of 2018, a total number of 107 suspected Lassa fever cases have been recorded in ten States: Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo and Lagos States. As at 21st January 2018, the total number of confirmed cases is 61, with 16 deaths recorded. Ten health care workers have been infected in four States (Ebonyi – 7, Nasarawa – 1, Kogi – 1 and Benue – 1) with three deaths in Ebonyi State.
NCDC is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, African Field Epidemiology Network, US Centres for Disease Control, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and other agencies, in supporting the response in the affected States.
Lassa fever can be prevented through practicing good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation. Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households, and other measures to discourage rodents from entering homes. Hand washing should be practiced frequently.

Health care workers are again reminded that Lassa fever presents initially like any other disease causing a febrile illness such as malaria; and are advised to practice standard precautions at all times, maintaining a high index of suspicion. Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) must be applied to all suspected cases of malaria. When the RDT is negative, other causes of febrile illness including Lassa fever should be considered. Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment increase the chances of survival.
Family members who are providing care for patients with Lassa fever should take extra caution. In addition, States are encouraged to ensure safe and dignified burial practices for patients who die from Lassa fever, Report sourced from The Reliefweb.Int.

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This disease from all my Research, doesn’t sound funny at all, a lot of Nigerians, especially those of us in the Western parts keep displaying some hurtful levels of ignorance to this Epidemic because we feel it has not yet gotten to our states, e.g. Lagos (which it has already reached), Ogun, Oyo e.t.c and so we are not even concerned about what is going on. Even the media, is supposed to put more focus and carry the responsibility of sensitizing the Nigerian Masses on this quickly spreading and fatal epidemic so as to arm the common Nigerian family better against this faceless virus. But lately, they have also shown a constantly reduced and poor level of concern as these issues are no longer taken as priority and headlined anymore.
The National guidelines for Infection Prevention and Control, as well as Lassa fever case management have been developed, disseminated to States and are available on the NCDC website for download NCDC GOV
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control remains committed to supporting all States’ public health teams to prevent and respond to public health threats.
NCDC Toll-free Number: 0800-970000-10
SMS: 08099555577
WhatsApp: 07087110839
Twitter/Facebook: @NCDCgov

Written by Stephen Uba

I am the Pot of Beans behind Waterybeans.Com.

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