Did you know? Lassa fever originated in Borno state Nigeria

Lassa fever , also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever ( LHF ), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus .
Descriptions of the disease date from the 1950s. The virus was first described in 1969 from a case in the town of Lassa, in Borno State , Nigeria . (LASSA FEVER IS NAME AFTER A TOWN CALLED LASSA IN BORNO STATE.) Lassa fever is relatively common in West Africa including the countries of Nigeria , Liberia , Sierra Leone , Guinea , and Ghana . There are about 300,000 to 500,000 cases which result in 5,000 deaths a year.
Many of those infected by the virus do not develop symptoms. When symptoms occur they typically include fever , weakness, headaches, vomiting , and muscle pains . Less commonly there may be bleeding from the mouth or gastrointestinal tract . The risk of death once infected is about one percent and frequently occurs within two weeks of the onset of symptoms. Among those who survive about a quarter have deafness which improves over time in about half.
The disease is usually initially spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected multi mammate rat . Spread can then occur via direct contact between people.
Diagnosis based on symptoms is difficult. Confirmation is by laboratory testing to detect the virus's RNA , antibodies for the virus, or the virus itself in cell culture .
Other conditions that may present similarly include Ebola fever , malaria , typhoid fever , and yellow fever . The Lassa virus is a member of the Arenaviridae virus family.
There is no vaccine . Prevention requires isolating those who are infected and decreasing contact with the rats. Other efforts to control the spread of disease include having a cat to hunt vermin , and storing food in sealed containers. Treatment is directed at addressing dehydration and improving symptoms.

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