Lassa fever and COVID-19 in Africa: Crisis Start Now !

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A current article within the Journal of Medical Virology discusses the twin impact of Lassa fever and COVID-19 in Africa.

The authors state that the emergence of COVID-19 has directed sources from other infectious illnesses, including Lassa fever.

To retain the disease, they recommend a mixture of public hygiene information, enhanced research, and the introduction of treatments and vaccines.

Lassa feverTrusted Source is definitely an infectious disease transmitted from rodents to humans. ApproximatelyTrusted Source two million people get Lassa fever every year, leading to 5,000-10,000 deaths. The condition is endemicTrusted Source in West African countries, for example Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

One of the leading challenges when diagnosing the condition may be the similarity of their symptomsTrusted Source, including a sore throat, joint problems, and weakness, with lots of other illnesses, for example dengue and typhoid fever.

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Due to this, the problem is generally under- and misdiagnosed.

The emergence of COVID-19 has further irritated the identification and management of the problem because of the extra burden put on public health systems round the worldTrusted Source.

Captured, an worldwide group of researchers printed articles highlighting the problem of Lassa fever in Africa following COVID-19, alongside public health ways of own it.

“Lassa fever is endemic to West Africa, “ Matt Cost, Ph.D., told Medical News Today. Dr. Cost is director of epidemiology in the Worldwide AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and assistant clinical professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the College of California Bay Area (UCSF). He wasn’t active in the article.

“However, reporting around the disease previously is not systematic, and our knowledge of the epidemiology is incomplete. Recently, Nigeria continues to be the epicenter for annual outbreaks from the disease, with situation figures peaking in 2020,” he added.

“Active disease surveillance is ongoing in Nigeria, and enormous, population-based epidemiology research is going ahead in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Benin. The work will let us obtain a better knowledge of the epidemiology of Lassa fever, “ he described.

The content seems within the Journal of Medical VirologyTrusted Source.

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High fatality ratio

Presently, early proper diagnosis of Lassa fever is essential for effective treatment. Doctors recommend Ribavirin, an antiviral medication, inside the first 6 times of contracting herpes. If not treated, the condition can result in:

  • inflamed airways
  • abdominal pains
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • respiratory system signs and symptoms
  • lack of hearing
  • acute hemorrhagic fever
  • multiple organ failure
  • dying

Following the declaration that COVID-19 would be a pandemic, medical sources were directed towards COVID-19, resulting in compromised take care of infectious illnesses with greater fatality ratiosTrusted Source, for example Lassa fever.

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“Amid epidemiological Week 9 of 2020, once the first affirmed situation of COVID-19 was recorded in Nigeria, there is a rise in the amount of affirmed [Lassa fever] cases,” write they.

“Indeed, with steady treatment and care with ribavirin, situation fatalities remained as up to 24%-33% in tertiary clinic settings […] whereas almost 13.5% of survivors [had] sensorineural hearing problems. Also, [Lassa fever] makes up about almost 22% of hospital maternal mortality in endemic ranges,” they add.

Stopped progress

When requested how COVID-19 has impacted the treating of Lassa fever in Africa,Dr. Cost stated:

“Lassa fever is of interest because of the harshness of signs and symptoms, chance of dying, and concern over the potential for herpes like a bioweapon. Within the wake from the Ebola crisis of 2014-2016, the worldwide community has allotted funds to build up a effective and safe vaccine against Lassa fever.”

“As area of the efforts to organize for Lassa fever vaccine numerous studies, large-scale, population-based epidemiology studies were planned in endemic regions to assist guide medical trial site selection – to make sure that the vaccines were tested where these were needed most,” he told MNT.

“Unfortunately, these studies were just getting going ahead because the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning.”

“With the shutdowns and repair interruptions brought on by COVID-19,” Dr. Cost ongoing, “comes the opportunity of incomplete or erratic reporting of installments of Lassa fever, or interruptions of care and repair for individuals reporting to healthcare centers with signs and symptoms of Lassa fever.”

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