Iduozee Paul, Benin Correspondent
Dr. Abubakar Mohammed and Dr. Mojead Momoh have disclosed that Lassa fever infects up to 4000 people yearly in Nigeria, while more than 5000 persons every year because of the danger of the virus.
Dr. Mojead Momoh, and Dr. Abubakar Mohammed, consultants in lrrua Teaching Hospital, Edo State made the disclosure at the annual prayer get-together party organized by the Auchi lndigenes Club.
Accordingto them, the only way to avoid the virus is to have access toinformation about lassa fever.
“InSewden, like other Scandvial countries, their health index is so high, lifeexpectancy over 80 years. And we are having less than 50 years. The differenceis information, we must have the information first before we think of thehealth facilities and others. That is why we must know what lassafever is today. Lassa fever is endemic in our areas and Edo state falls alongthe lassa fever birth.
‘’Itis vital to know what lassa fever is, how to contact it, and the commonsymptoms associated to the disease like malaria fever. Beyond that, Lassa feveris an acute viral lmoradic fever. The functional words are virus, imoragic andfever. A virus is one of those organisms that causes diseases. In that group,we have Ebola fever, yellow fever, etc.
“Bacteriais one of these disgusting organisms. Bacteria causes pneumonia, gonorrhea;whatis important is that we must know the common silent symptoms of lassafever.
‘’What lassafever means generally is an increase in body temperature. The problem with thevirus is that they are very difficult to handle. Mosttime, it runs a cause, and is a simple carter kind of disease. We do not havetreatment to cure the virus either it goes into the body of the patients orkills the patients.
“Thehemorrhagic is a type of fever caused by virus through vomiting as a result ofdiarrhea. Instead of the patient to look healthy, he continues to bleed. Lassafever was first discovered in Nigeria in Bauchi, in a town called Lassa. In thecause of carrying out their duties, two health workers died, they contacted thefever and started bleeding along the line they died. After much research aboutthe mysterious death of the health workers, it was discovered that they died asa result of lassa fever.”
“Goingto 50 years now the disease was discovered in the nation. We just marked 50years of lassa fever in Nigeria that the virus has infected up to four thousandpersons yearly, and more than five thousand persons every year, which is verybad.”
“Thegood thing is that more than 80 per cent of people who came in contact with the disease may not manifest anysymptoms, while 20 percent will develop serious symptoms and one per cent ;willdie. The worst aspect is the pregnant women; pregnant women are at risk of thevirus. Also, more than 50 per cent to 80 per cent become fatter andmuch more than one per cent die. For pregnant women, a lot of them will have anabortion which is protective for them,’’ said Mohammed.
Dr.AbubakarMohammed , a Radiology consultant at lrrua Teaching Hospital said within one week to 21 days the symptomsoccur causing it to manifest through the body. He disclosed that some of causesand mode of transmission are; burning of bush that breed rats,especially female rats who infect our food, such as garri, water and otherfoods.
Themedical experts outlined some symptoms associated with lassa fever, as regular vomiting, deafness,body weakness, increase in body temperature, headache, sore throat, hearingimpairment and the virus affect all systems in the body.
Accordingto them, the disease can be prevented by regular cleaning of the environment,washing of hands/plates, sweeping of kitchen, using rat poison to kill allinsects in the house, storage of food, spraying of rooms always among others.He said lassa fever can be cured if detected early noting that the vaccine hasnot been invented yet.
Inhis speech, the chairman of Auchi Indigenes Club, Alhaji Ikharo Duada, said theessence of the reunion party is to thank God for promoting their members invarious careers who distinguished themselves.
Hesaid: “Many of us are promoted in our businesses and careers. We also usethe medium to bring our wives and families to come and celebrate with us. Weequally give scholarships to members. We decided to launch the scholarshipforms because we know there are many of our members who cannot meet up to theirneeds, but are committed to meetings.’
“Weneed to encourage them, charity they says, begins at home. We budgeted for fivepersons, but some members saw the initiative as good and sponsored sevenadditional persons, making it 12 slots. Unfortunately only five personsapplied, next year by the grace of God more people will apply,’’ he stated.