Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in West Africa. The illness was discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in Nigeria, West Africa. The cause of the illness was found to be Lassa virus, named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases originated.
In areas of Africa where the disease is endemic, Lassa fever is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. While Lassa fever is mild or has no observable symptoms in about 80% of people infected with the virus, the remaining 20% have a severe multisystem disease. Lassa fever is also associated with occasional epidemics, during which the case-fatality rate can reach 50%.

Lassa fever is an endemic disease in portions of West Africa. It is recognized in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, as well as Nigeria. However, because the rode
nt species which carry the virus are found throughout West Africa, the actual geographic range of the disease may extend to other countries in the region.

The reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent known as the “multimammate rat” of the genus Mastomys. It is not certain which species of Mastomys are associated with Lassa; however, at least two species carry the virus in Sierra Leone. Mastomys rodents breed very frequently, produce large numbers of offspring, and are numerous in the savannas and forests of West, Central, and East Africa. In addition, Mastomys generally readily colonize human homes. All these factors together contribute to the relatively efficient spread of Lassa virus from infected rodents to humans.

There are a number of ways in which the virus may be transmitted, or spread, to humans. The Mastomys rodents shed the virus in urine and droppings. Therefore, the virus can be transmitted through direct contact with these materials, through touching objects or eating food contaminated with these materials, or through cuts or sores. Because Mastomys rodents often live in and around homes and scavenge on human food remains or poorly stored food, transmission of this sort is common. Contact with the virus also may occur when a person inhales tiny particles in the air contaminated with rodent excretions. This is called aerosol or airborne transmission. Finally, because Mastomys rodents are sometimes consumed as a food source, infection may occur via direct contact when they are caught and prepared for food.
Lassa fever may also spread through person-to-person contact. This type of transmission occurs when a person comes into contact with virus in the blood, tissue, secretions, or excretions of an individual infected with the Lassa virus. The virus cannot be spread through casual contact (including skin-to-skin contact without exchange of body fluids).

The symptoms of Lassa fever include:
• Chest pain
• Back pain
• Sore throat
• Cough
• Abdominal pain
• Vpmiting
• Diarrhea
• Facial swelling

The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness. Various degrees of deafness occur in approximately one-third of cases, and in many cases hearing loss is permanent. As far as is known, severity of the disease does not affect this complication: deafness may develop in mild as well as in severe cases. Spontaneous abortion is another serious complication.

So let’s go to how to prevent it.

Rats are everywhere in the houseno matter how clean a house is. Once rats see an avenue to get indoors, the always do. They also breed and multiply in dozens!!

Since we now know that Lassa Fever is spread through the droppings & urine of rats, we should always rinse every dish or cutllery before use. Also fruits and vegetables that are eaten raw should be rinsed again at the point one wants to eat them.

Fumigation of the premesis is also important as it kills the rats in large numbers.

I do not usually fumigate, but I use a very effective rat poison called STP RAT. It is manufactured by a Pharmaceutical company called CAPL. Its made of small blue pellets and I am astound by its effectiveness. I usually use it every three months by sprinkling it in corners round the house.

What it does to the rats is that it suffocates them and they come out of hiding to get fresh air but are ususally weak. So if you are observant, you will actually see them struggling for dear life.

The colour is very attractive to kids, so should be used with caution where kids are.


BURKINA FASO MPS AGREE TO CUT PAY BY HALF…CAN BUHARI/APC PUSH FOR THIS IF THEY WIN PRESIDENCY?...NO,NOT LIKELY!Ouagadougou-Members of parliament in Burkina Faso have decided to cut their salaries by half.

The move followed heated exchanges on social media after it was revealed that MPs were paid more than $3,000 (£1,985) a month.

The average salary in the West African state is about $150 a month.

One MP said the pay cut would promote better governance and rebuild confidence in democracy during a year-long transition to elections.

The former National Assembly in Burkina Faso has been replaced by an interim parliament, the Transitional National Council (CNT), as part of arrangements following the forced resignation of long-serving ruler Blaise Compaore last year.

Mr Compaore seized power in a coup in 1987 and went on to win four disputed elections.

Tens of thousands of people took part in protests in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, in October over moves to allow him to extend his rule, eventually forcing him to step down.

Members of the 90-member CNT have been paid a gross salary plus attendance fees, office allowances, healthcare supplements and fuel costs.

Campaigners, including grassroots political movement Balai Citoyen, have said MPs should not be paid attendance fees and have pointed out the substantial gap between their salaries and average earnings.

Another campaign group, the Coalition Against Costly Life, has said a maximum salary of $900 would be sufficient.

Revelations about MPs’ pay prompted angry reactions on social media, with many saying the pay levels amounted to an abuse of power.

A BBC correspondent in the region, Anais Hotin, says that after fighting for a change of government, people in Burkina Faso are determined to put in place a better system to achieve social justice.

The transitional government is led by Lt-Col Isaac Zida, who was among army officers who took power from Mr Compaore.

He has promised to return Burkina Faso to civilian rule through elections later this year.

Before Lt-Col Zida’s appointment as prime minister, the African Union, the United States and several other countries urged the military to hand back power to civilians or face the prospect of economic sanctions.




New Delhi, India (CNN) — An Ebola survivor has been quarantined in India after his semen tested positive for the virus, health officials there have announced.

The 26-year-old man, an Indian national, traveled to New Delhi from Liberia on November 10, almost two months after he was hospitalized in the West African nation after showing symptoms of the illness, India’s health ministry said in a statement.

He was released from the Liberian hospital on September 30 with documents declaring him free of clinical signs linked to Ebola, the ministry added.

As a precautionary measure, Indian authorities carried out tests on his body fluids, which confirmed traces of the virus in his semen, the statement said.

“Currently, this person is not having any symptoms of the disease. However, he would be kept under isolation in the special health facility of (the) Delhi Airport Health Organization, till such time his body fluids test negative and he is found medically fit to be discharged,” it said.

Passenger surveillance

In the wake of the first detection of the deadly virus in India, the country’s health minister, J.P. Nadda, held talks with top officials from various departments, the government said.

The minister advised strengthening passenger surveillance at the country’s airports and seaports, the government said. He also ordered expert teams to visit states and report back to him on preparedness to deal with the virus, it added.

India’s health ministry, however, urged calm. “The situation is under control and there is no need for any alarm. However, all precautions are being taken in this regard,” it said in its statement.
UN Ebola Chief on Fighting the Virus

According to the ministry and doctors, patients whose blood samples test negative for Ebola after treatment continue to shed the virus in their body fluids, such as urine and semen, for variable periods. A survivor with infected semen can transmit the disease to his sexual partners, they say.

“There is no cure that actually kills the virus,” explained Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director of Medanta The Medicity hospital near New Delhi. Patients, he said, are treated with supportive care.

Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Healthcare providers, Trehan emphasized, must adhere to standard safety protocols while attending to Ebola patients and survivors carrying the virus in their body fluids.

India’s preparations

India has screened thousands of passengers arriving from the Ebola-hit countries since the outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

“This is like a dress-rehearsal for India, and while we are already in the mode of preparation, this case will help us galvanize into action,” said Hemant Thacker, a consultant physician and cardio-metabolic specialist at Mumbai’s Bhatia Hospital.

“I believe we are theoretically prepared because we have learned the lessons from the West. That, however, doesn’t mean that our medical authorities become complacent,” he cautioned.