Lassa fever and the Nigerian experience: a review
The occurrence, transmission and intervention strategies on the Lassa fever disease in Nigeria are presented. The Lassa virus is an enveloped, single stranded, bi-segmented RNA virus that belong to the Arenaviridae family was first reported in 1969 from Lassa village, Borno State, Nigeria. The primary animal reservoir for the virus is the multi-mammate rat (Mastomys natalensis). It is transmitted to humans through the excreta of infected carrier, often via contaminated food and human-to-human transmission. The most common treatment intervention is ribavirin which carries out its function by inhibiting virus replication. Extensive investigation is being carried out to arrive at an effective vaccine. Keeping rodents out of homes and food supplies, as well as maintaining effective personal hygiene are the most viable preventive measures against the disease.
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