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News for the wise….

Jan 15, 2016, 10:07 AM

The re-emergence of Lassa Fever Viral Disease has been announced in Nigeria since last week. According to reports, the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria has confirmed that out of the 76 victims of Lassa fever outbreak, 35 had lost their lives, with 10 states said to be battling to curtail the spread of the disease.

Although we are far away from the affected places, our health department in The Gambia and, of course, all of us as a nation should be vigilant and apply the necessary precautionary measures to keep our ourselves safe and healthy at all times.

The Ebola Viral Disease, whose repercussions are yet to be overcome, should serve as a lesson to us. Although in The Gambia, we were not physically affected by the EVD, we were economically touched, especially in the tourism sector and cross-border or regional trade.

Lassa fever is said to be one of the different haemorrhagic fevers that affect human beings and could lead to immediate death of a person. Other haemorrhagic fevers are Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Dengue and Yellow fever.

Some of the symptoms of haemorrhagic fever are high fever, serious headache and bleeding from the pores of the body parts which are all characterised by high fatality.

Symptoms of Lassa fever include also pains in the chest region of the body; dry and sore throat; continuous stooling and vomiting; in severe situations, there is bleeding from the mouth, nose and vagina and then death results in later stages.

There is a mode of transmission of the disease, which could be avoided. It is stated that rodents and rats are the main vector of the disease. Someone can also be infected from the fluid or blood of an infected person.

As preventive measures, people should ensure their food is properly covered, either cooked or uncooked. Rodenticides should be used to kill rats, while the bush around the home should be cleared regularly. The windows and doors of the house should be closed especially when evening comes.

Anybody who shows the given symptoms above should report to the hospital immediately in order to prevent orders from coming up with the disease.

In addition, it is also advised that, medical personnel should wear protective gloves and mask when treating people who are infected with the disease.

All efforts should be geared towards maintaining a general home and environmental cleanliness.

This should remind us of the national cleansing exercise in the country, the next time for which is tomorrow Saturday 16 January.

All are, therefore, encouraged to clean their environment and prevent rodents from streaming about, as they are harmful to human health.

It is, therefore, necessary that we consider the Lassa fever reports as news for the wise.

“Hygiene is important. That’s one of my failings. So I’m always being called on that..”

Dan Aykroyd