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Beware: Lassa fever in Nigeria

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eMediNexus    15 February 2018

Do not ignore any fever with deafness in Nigerians

 

Why talk in India: Large number of patient from Nigeria come for treatment in India

 

Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by Lassa virus

 

In West Africa; each year, there are approximately 300,000 cases and 5000 deaths.

 

The primary mode of transmission to humans is via exposure to infected Mastomys rodents (direct contact with urine or feces, inhalation of aerosolized rodent excretions).

 

Person-to-person transmission may occur after exposure to Lassa virus in the blood, urine, feces, or other bodily secretions of an infected individual.

 

 Lassa fever infection is not spread through casual contact

 

Individuals with Lassa fever infection are not believed to be contagious prior to onset of symptoms.

 

The incubation period is one to three weeks.

 

Most (80 percent) have mild symptoms (low-grade fever, malaise, and headache).

 

The most common complication of Lassa fever is deafness, which occurs in up to one-third of patients and may develop in the setting of mild or severe illness.

 

Disease progresses in 20% cases with pharyngitis, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, myalgias, retrosternal chest pain, back pain, and abdominal pain.

 

Most recover after 8 to 10 days of symptoms.

 

Death usually occurs within two weeks.

 

1 percent of Lassa virus infections result in death

 

The diagnosis is suspected in individuals with fever, malaise, headache, pharyngitis, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, myalgia, chest pain, or hearing loss in the setting of relevant epidemiologic exposure.

 

The diagnosis of Lassa fever is usually established via serum enzyme-linked immunosorbent serologic assay, which can detect immunoglobulin (Ig)M and IgG antibodies and Lassa antigen.

 

Serum IgM is detectable 10 to 21 days after symptom onset; serum IgG is detectable approximately 21 days after symptom onset.

 

Treatment of Lassa fever involves intravenous ribavirin or oral ribavirin.

 

Clue: Platelet count low but always > 1 lac; Low TLC, fever with deafness, SGOT > SGPT >10:1, high amylase ( dengue like illness with negative serology.

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