My heart felt appreciation goes to @air-clinic for organizing this contest.
Recently, there has been an outbreak of this disease in my country and it pains me much that the government still take it for granted.
Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever that is extremely virulent and infectious. It was discovered in Lassa, Borno State where it was first reported and is caused by the Lassa fever virus of the arenaviridae family. It has an incubation period of about 6 – 21 days and symptoms include fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, abdominal and chest pains. More serious symptoms includes bleeding, hearing loss, tremors and brain damage. It is usually transmitted from animal (Mastomys natalensis) to man, human to human and also in hospital settings.
Recently, there was an outbreak of this disease in Nigeria of which deaths were recorded. The most thrilling was the case of a medical Doctor who contracted the disease in the process of managing a patient with same illness. He later died a day following the death of the child. The painful part of this story is not that the doctor or patient died as every man is appointed to die at any point in life, the painful part was the manner with which they died. The lackadaisical attitude of the government towards eradication of the illness is very abysmal. Imagine a country where there are only two Lassa fever centres (Lagos and Edo). There should be proper funding of research projects and PPE (Personal Protective Equipments) should always be made available in hospitals. The masses too can help in controlling the spread of this disease by keeping rodents out of homes and maintaining proper personal hygiene. Infected persons should be isolated and their body fluids and excrements properly disposed.
In conclusion, the current outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria can be controlled effectively by adopting proper standard precautions in hospitals as well as communities. Educating the public on the mode of transmission of this virus and the need for proper hygiene and environmental sanitation should also be emphasized.