Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Described as a “new roundtrip” by the Health Minister, Lassa fever, another deadly viral hemorrhagic infection is on the loose in my beloved Nation, Nigeria.
Lassa fever is named for Lassa, a location in Borno State.
– Not funny, at all.
More bad news, Lassa virus is contracted from rats and mice, yes those creepy creatures.
Keep out those animals, from food, homes, and food storage.
The modes of transmission of the virus are by:
a~ Inhaling airborne virus-infected excrement;
b~ Touching any part of the animal, its bodily fluids, urine or faeces;
c~ Contact with bodily fluids of infected humans.
Do note the virus is ejected in urine and semen of infected humans.
Exposure to human bodily fluids, including blood, therefore, could lead to infections.
Note also transmission of the virus is not limited to consumption of mice.
Worse news, early signs and symptoms of Lassa fever mimic those of malaria: fever, weakness, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and cough.
Anyone who presents any malaria-like symptoms and has been in contact with vermin, its droppings or an infected human, must inform health professionals, so as to receive prompt treatment.
Late symptoms of Lassa Virus Disease are bleeding, from any bodily orifice: mouth, nose, vagina or anus, and a low blood pressure.
The good news, unlike its notorious brother Ebola virus, Lassa infection has a drug – ribavirin.
This viral haemorrhagic infection can be effectively treated if detected and properly diagnosed early.
For this outbreak, the fatalities are 41 Nigerians – highly unjustifiable.
There have so far been 93 reported cases, with a spread of 10 states of the Federation.
The ten states are Bauchi and Kano, the initial and second locations of this season’s eruption, Nassarawa, Niger, Taraba, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, and Oyo.
Since the occurrence of the first case was in 2015 November, why was there a conspiracy of silence in warning the Nation?
The delay in conveying a health awareness to citizens must be the consequence of Oh! The infection, unlike Ebola, is business as usual – the “roundtrip” remark!
That is unsatisfactory.
Considering the recent yearly outbreaks of Lassa fever, the Nation need a roundtrip of health awareness and not a roundtrip of Lassa fever infections.
No infection, and certainly not one debilitating and fatal, ought to be a regular event, not even malaria.
My malarial infection rate is twice in 8 years – yes it can be done.
No infection is to be viewed as endemic and beyond eradication.
We must not wait for the intervention of foreigners before we become active and responsible for our health and the health of others.
Yes, some Nigerians perceive rats and mice as part of the household and are not alarmed at the sight of such creatures in the home.
The consequence is that not only do the rodents have access to household food and leftovers, but also the animals freely drag edible substances from other sources into quiet spots in the home – the resident rat status.
Even if one is unable to eliminate entrance sites, one can, in the very least, make the animals unwelcome by tightly locking all food sources.
Please note that the food of rats and mice includes bars of soap.
Making food inaccessible means keeping food in containers rats cannot readily chew.
That rules out bags and sacks; a bucket is a better safe food vessel.
For a large family where food stuffs are purchased in sacks, try an airtight storage room.
Avoid buying raw food from unhygienic sources.
Notice mice excrement in garri? Refrain from patronising the retailer until better health procedures are adopted.