What you need to know to protect yourself!
WHAT IS LASSA FEVER?
Lassa fever is a viral infection caused by the Lassa fever virus. The virus is primarily transmitted to humans through contact with urine or excreta from rats. The disease occurs throughout the year, but more cases are recorded during dry season.
How is Lassa fever
1. Rat to Human:
Direct contact with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats. Eating food or taking drinks contaminated with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of infected rats.
2. Human to Human:
Contact with blood, urine, saliva, throat secretion or semen of an infected person.
3. Contaminated Equipment and Surfaces:
Touching of floors, beddings and household materials contaminated with urine, faeces, saliva or blood of rats or an infected person.
of Lassa fever
The symptoms of the disease usually start with a fever and general body weakness. Features of the disease appear 6 to 21 days after contact with the Lassa fever virus.
after contact with the Lassa fever virus
Fever, Headache, Sore Throat
After few days…
Swelling of the Face
Bleeding via body openings (NOSE, EARS, EYES, MOUTH, ETC)
IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS, REPORT IMMEDIATELY TO THE NEAREST HEALTH CENTRE/HOSPITAL.
THE ACTIONS EXPECTED FROM A HEALTHCARE WORKER WOULD BE TO TEST FOR MALARIA AND OTHER COMMON CAUSES OF FEVER. IF THESE TESTS ARE NEGATIVE, LASSA FEVER SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.
HOW TO PREVENT LASSA FEVER
STAY VIGILANT FOR LASSA FEVER
General Patients Care
Always apply standard infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions when caring for patients, REGARDLESS OF THEIR PRESUMED DIAGNOSIS.
These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), and safe injection practices.
All confirmed cases of Lassa fever who have died should be given a safe and dignified burial.
Caring for Patients with Lassa Fever
Health workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Lassa fever should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding.
Any suspected Lassa fever case should be admitted immediately into an isolation room/ward, in a hospital designated by the State to treat VHF cases. Dedicate non-disposable equipment for patient use only (i.e. stethoscopes, BP cuff, glucometer. Ensure all healthcare workers have access to, and wear appropriate PPE when handling and reprocessing contaminated medical devices.
Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from humans and animals for investigation of Lassa virus infection should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories.
is preventable and can be treated successfully if detected early.
IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN INFECTED WITH LASSA FEVER:
- Avoid contact with other people.
- Seek health advice: go to the nearest health facility immediately for evaluation.
- Drink plenty of fluids