Esta es la gran preocupación de salud por enrededor en estos días. Proviene de las ratas. Entre otras precauciones y como yo no como ratas (que aquí también se comen -algunas especies-), tendré que tener cuidadín con mi comida, los platos, vasos y demás. siempre lavar todo antes de utilizarlos, cuestion que ya practico por las cucarachas; Pero espera… si el agua tampoco es potable… Joder, si es que lo ponen muy difícil.
Otra cosita más que reclama estar alerta. Que esto también mata.
El Viajero Accidental
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. The virus, a member of the virus family Arenaviridae, is a single-stranded RNA virus and is zoonotic, or animal-borne.
In areas of Africa where the disease is endemic (that is, constantly present), 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%.
Where is Lassa fever found?
Parts of West Africa, including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Liberia. However, sporadic Lassa infections may have also occurred in Senegal and Mali. One host genus has been identified as spreading at least one Lassalike virus in central Africa.
In what animal host is Lassa virus maintained?
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.
How does it spread ?
People become infected by eating infected bush rat or eating food contaminated with the rat excreta/urine deposited on surfaces such as floors, beds, household utensils or in food and water (e.g. grains spread out to dry along the roads by farmers). Person to person spread also occurs by direct contact or inhalation of infected body fluids such as blood, urine, saliva, throat secretions etc..
Fever and malaise generally appear 10 days after infection. As the disease progresses, increased fever and myalgia are typical, accompanied by severe prostration. Gastro-intestinal manifestations, including nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain may also appear. In 66% of individuals, sore throat accompanies infection. Cough and retrosternal pain are also common. Hemorrhagic symptoms develop is less than a third of individuals, but are associated with a significant raise in patient mortality. Neurologic phenomena are less common than the aforementioned symptoms, but are nevertheless important. Aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, and global encephalopathy with seizures have all been documented in cases of Lassa virus infection. Intriguingly, deafness is a common feature during late-stage disease or early convalescence, and may be either ephemeral or permanent. While serving as useful diagnostic tool, this manifestation also interrupts individuals’ re-acceptance into their community, and hence plays a role in disease stigmatization. When treated in a hospital setting, mortality rates are between 15% and 20%. However, this increases dramatically, up to 60%, in areas where appropriate medical care is unavailable. Fatal cases or Lassa fever rarely show any signs of remission, progressing from fever to shock and death in an unrelenting slide. Survivors remain symptomatic for approximately 2-3 weeks following the onset of symptoms, whereupon the fever dissipates and the virus becomes undetectable in the blood. (Note that virus has still been found in the semen of surviving patients up to six weeks following infection.) Other signs and symptoms are headache, sore throat, pain behind the breast bone, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, abdominal pain and red spots. In severe cases, it may progress to swollen face, bleeding (from mouth, nose, and vagina), gastrointestinal tract and low blood pressure.
How is Lassa fever prevented?
- Avoid contact between rats and human beings;
- Keep your house and Environmnt clean.
- Cover all foods and water properly.
- Cover all foods and water properly.
- Cook all foods thoroughly
- Block all rat hideouts
- Do not spread food where rats can have access to it.
- And as soon as you suspect Lassa fever, or you have persistent fever not responding to the standard treatment for malaria and typhoid, report to the nearest Health facility.