Last episode, we talked about few things to know about Lassa fever. (check it out here)We would continue today on the same topic.
6) In severe cases of lassa fever, patients can present with swelling of the face, fluid in the lungs, bleeding from the mouth, nose, vagina or gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure may develop.
7) In later stages, they may present with shock, convulsion, tremor, disorientation, and coma.
8) Death usually occurs within 14 days of onset of disease especially in cases that present very late.
Lassa fever can be treated if a patient presents early to the hospital. There is currently no vaccine that protects against it.
This is the most important part of this discuss as we know, ‘prevention is better than cure’.
– Public enlightenment about the disease.
– Promotion of community hygiene to discourage rodents from entering homes. Regular fumigation and ‘de-ratting’ with rodenticides be done.
– Ensure personal hygiene. The easiest and most effective of them is regular hand washing with liquid soaps and antiseptics. Hand sanitizers are also readily available.
– Storing grains and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers. Drying food stuff on highways should also be discouraged as rats can defecate or urinate on them.
– Disposing of refuse far from the home.
– Family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood and body fluids while caring for sick persons no matter how close they are to one. Make use of personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves.
– Present to the hospital very early when ill, where proper diagnosis and treatment will be carried out. Not all cases of fever, vomiting and the likes are malaria and typhoid. Remember Lassa fever can be treated if detected early, and it ensures the safety of other family members as a result of to reduced spread.
– Discourage the use of rodents as food source.
– Healthcare workers should also take proper precautions to prevent the spread of disease to other healthcare workers, patients and even family members regardless of their presumed diagnosis.
– Enlightenment of the public on safe burial practices. For confirmed cases of Lassa fever, family members should co-operate with managing health officials on the proper means of burying the deceased to prevent spread to the community.
Dr Badru-Sulaiman Zulaykha A.
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