Lassa fever: what you need to know

Lassa virus causes haemorrhagic fever and can harm multiple organs in the body

As the United Kingdom’s witnessed its first death from the Lassa virus, the entire world is getting anxious and wants to know more about this dreaded disease.

Lassa fever is a disease caused by the Lassa virus. The virus infects its victim through food that has been contaminated faeces, urine of an infected rat. Its spread is also possible through bodily fluids.

Lassa virus causes haemorrhagic fever and can harm multiple organs in the body. African countries are at higher risk of contracting Lassa fever as the rodent population there is very high. Lassa infected cases detected in the UK had recent travelled to West Africa.

Symptoms of The Lassa Fever, as the name suggests, start with fever accompanied by body aches. Headache, vomiting, and diarrhoea may also develop in an infected person. In severe cases bleeding from the mouth and nose can also occur.

As mentioned earlier it Lassa virus is spread through eating food contaminated with rodents’ faeces or urine. It can also pass on
through the body fluids of an infected person. But the good news is that of Lassa virus does not spread easily among humans. WHO stated that there is evidence that would affirm the airborne spread of the virus.

Mortality caused by Lassa fever is not more than 1 percent. Most of the people who are infected with the Lassa virus make a full recovery. But the fatality rate among hospitalized patients with severe symptoms is almost 15 percent. Chances of survival improve if an illness is detected early. Immediate treatment can considerably improve the recovery chances.

India Scanner News Network

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