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Lassa Fever- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

18 September, 2020 Shivya Soni

What is Lassa Fever?

Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever that is caused by the Lassa virus.

Lassa virus is a member of the arenavirus family of viruses. It's a hemorrhagic virus, which suggests it can cause bleeding, although 8 out of each 10 people with the virus haven't any symptoms. If it affects the liver, kidneys, or spleen, they are often fatal.

Lassa fever isn't as contagious person to person, nor as deadly. It can rarely occur upon direct contact with saliva, blood, and bodily fluids and mucosa or sexual contact. Casual contact of intact skin with intact skin doesn't transmit the virus.

Lassa virus is usually transmitted by the urine or feces of Mastomys rats to humans. doctors could also be infected by direct contact with blood, body fluids, urine, or stool of a patient with Lassa fever. It is most commonly seen in West Africa.

For symptomatic relief, you can always buy medicine online only after they are prescribed by the doctor.

What Are the Causes of Lassa Fever?

  • People most frequently become infected by inhaling air contaminated with aerosols of rodent excretions
  • when the virus is swallowed either in food or contaminated utensils.
  • preparing and eating multimammate rats
  • the meat of untamed or non-domesticated animals called bush meat or wild meat
  • contact with open wounds.
  • Those at highest risk for serious complications and death are pregnant women in their trimester

What Are the Symptoms of Lassa Fever?

The time period of Lassa fever ranges from 2–21 days.

When symptomatic, the onset is typically gradual, with fever

  • general weakness
  • malaise
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • muscle pain
  • chest pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • hepatitis
  • swollen face
  • pain within the chest, back, and abdomen
  • shock
  • hearing loss, which can be permanent
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • cough
  • abdominal pain

In severe cases:

  • facial swelling
  • the fluid within the lung cavity
  • bleeding from the mouth, nose
  • vagina or alimentary canal
  • Low vital sign
  • Death can occur within 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms thanks to multiple organ failure.

How the Lassa Fever Can Be Prevented?

The main focus of prevention is “community hygiene,” to regulate the rat population.

This includes:

  • regular hand-washing
  • storing foods in rodent-proof containers
  • keeping garbage faraway from the house
  • keeping pet cats
  • Proper sanitation
  • avoid coming in contact with blood and other bodily fluids when you are caring for sick relatives
  • following safe burial procedures
  • using protective equipment during a healthcare setting, including masks and eyewear

How Diagnosis is Done in Case of Lassa Fever?

Laboratory tests are done or else the fever is not diagnosed. Test like ELISA is done to identify IgG and IgM.

Also can be done by Reverse Polymerase Chain Reaction.

What is the Treatment for Lassa Fever?

Ribavirin given intravenously and early within the course of illness was an efficient treatment because ribavirin could also be toxic and teratogenic. It causes nausea, headache, vomiting, and dizziness

Rehydration and treatment of symptoms can improve the probabilities of survival additionally to support of fluid and electrolytes, oxygenation, and vital sign.

Currently, there is no vaccine available for Lassa fever.

For symptomatic relief, medicines can be bought online from an online medicine delivery app in Delhi.

What Are the Complications of Lassa Fever?

  • hearing loss
  • Pregnant women at risk of serious diseases


If doctors or paramedics suspect a patient who is suffering from Lassa fever, they should immediately contact healthcare services on the national level for advice and to make preparation for laboratory testing. Health care staff should apply standard infection prevention and control precautions.