Part of: Prelims and GS-II -Health
Context: One of the three persons diagnosed with Lassa fever in the UK has died on February 11. The cases have been linked to travel to west African countries.
- The Lassa fever-causing virus is found in West Africa and was first discovered in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria.
- The fever is spread by rats.
- It is primarily found in countries in West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria where it is endemic.
- A person can become infected if they come in contact with household items of food that is contaminated with the urine or feces of an infected rat.
- Person-to-person transmission is more common in healthcare settings.
- Symptoms typically appear 1-3 weeks after exposure.
- Mild symptoms include slight fever, fatigue, weakness and headache.
- More serious symptoms include bleeding, difficulty breathing, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen and shock.
- Death can occur from two weeks of the onset of symptoms, usually as a result of multi-organ failure.
- How to prevent the epidemic: Maintaining hygiene to prevent rats from entering the house, keeping food in rat-proof containers and laying down rat traps.
News Source: IE