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Lassa Fever

  • IASbaba
  • February 15, 2022
  • 0
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Lassa Fever

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.

Key takeaways 

  • 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

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