Lassa Fever

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    • A person has died after three cases of Lassa fever were confirmed in the UK. The cases have been linked to travel to West African countries.

    What is Lassa?

    • About:
      • The Lassa fever-causing virus is found in West Africa and was first discovered in 1969 in Lassa, Nigeria.
    • Spread:
      • The fever is spread by rats and is primarily found in countries in West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria where it is endemic.
      • Human beings can transmit the virus to each other through contact with infected bodily fluids.
    • Symptoms:
      • Slight fever, fatigue, weakness and headache and more serious symptoms include bleeding, difficulty breathing, vomiting, facial swelling, pain in the chest, back, and abdomen and shock.
    • Prevention & Treatment:
      • The best way to avoid getting infected is to avoid contact with rats.
      • Ribavirin, an antiviral drug, has been used to successfully treat Lassa fever in patients.

    Source: IE