Lassa Fever in Nigeria

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O. J. Adenola
A. M. Ilemobayo


World Health Organization defines Lassa fever as a viral haemorrhagic fever that is transmitted to people through contact with food or household items contaminated with rat pee or defecation. Secondary transmission occurs in human to human through direct contact with the blood, discharges, organs and other body liquids of infected person’s which greater percentage are of nosocomial infections. This acute viral hemorrhagic fever brought about by the Lassa infection which was first described in 1969 and named after the town of Lassa (Yedseram River valley), in Borno State, Nigeria. The Lassa fever is a member of are naviridiae virus family like Ebola; clinical cases of the disease had been known for longer than three decades but had not been associated with a viral pathogen. The virus targets antigen-presenting cells, (mainly dendritic cells) and endothelial cells majorly. ELISA test for antigen and IgM antibodies gives 88% sensitivity and 90% specificity of the virus in cells. High clustering of incidence near high intensity sampling is the reason for inadequate view at the impact of Lassa in Nigeria. All persons suspected to have contracted Lassa fever infection should be quarantined in isolation facilities, body fluids and feaces of persons infected with Lassa virus should be properly disposed. Ribavirin has been approved for the treatment of Lassa fever, but prevention is still the best. Rodents should be kept out of homes and food supplies. Effective personal hygiene is will go a long way in eradicating this disease, also grains and other foodstuffs should be stored in rodent-proof containers.

Lassa fever, haemorrhagic fever, arenaviridiae, ELISA test, IgM antibodies, Ribavirin

Article Details

How to Cite
Adenola, O. J., & Ilemobayo, A. M. (2020). Lassa Fever in Nigeria. Asian Journal of Research and Reports in Gastroenterology, 3(2), 1-8. Retrieved from
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