Lagos State House of Assembly has reiterated the dangers associated with the dreaded Lassa fever, insisting that it kills as fast as possible, especially if the patient was not quickly taken to the hospital.
The Chairman House Committee on Information and Strategy, Hon Segun Olulade representing Epe Constituency 2 disclosed this during his campaign/awareness on Lassa fever tagged, “Say No to Lassa Fever” held at Epe.
Olulade who described Lassa fever as an acute febrile disease caused by the Lassa virus belonging to the arena virus group, said, “Lassa fever was first described in the 50s and the virus was isolated in 1969 in Lassa , Nigeria.”
The legislator explained that Lassa fever was more rampant in the dry season, rather than in the rainy season, and insisted that cases of Lassa have been reported in some states in Nigeria within the last six weeks end 2011 to 2012, such as Edo , Nassarawa, Plateau, Ebonyi, Taraba, among others.
“Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus from exposure to excreta of infected mastomys via direct exposure to the excreta of rat.”
He further said that Lassa virus may also be spread between humans through direct contact with the blood, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of a person with Lassa fever.
“There is no epidemiological evidence supporting airborne spread between humans. Person to person transmission occurs in both community and health care settings where the virus may be spread by contaminated medical equipment such as re-used needles”, Olulade added.
On the treatment of Lassa Fever, he stated, “The only known specific treatment should start as soon as a diagnosis of Lassa fever is made; once started a Ribavirin treatment should not be discontinued until the 10 days course is complete.”
Olulade however advised people to report cases of Lassa fever to appropriate level like local government Health Department or state Ministry of Health.