Lassa Fever disease is not like Ebola. It can be treated

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Lassa fever disease is one of the viral hemorrhagic fevers. It is important to know what the treatment of this disease entails.

  • A certain antiviral drug called ribavirin appears to be an effective treatment for Lassa fever disease if it is given in the early stage of the disease – within the first six days of onset of the disease. It is given intravenously. Apart from this, there is currently no other medication for treating Lassa fever.
  • Based on a study done, ribavirin reduces the number of deaths caused by Lassa fever disease from 50% to 5% when it is given in the early stages of the disease.
  • At the moment, there is also no vaccine that provides protection against Lassa fever.
  • It is important that early supportive care be provided. It involves symptomatic treatment – that is, treatment of the symptoms of the disease and not its cause. Early and quality supportive care improves the chances of a Lassa-infected person surviving the disease.

Supportive care that should be provided when treating Lassa-infected individuals includes:

  • Giving oxygen.
  • Maintaining normal blood pressure.
  • Treating any other infections that may arise.
  • Maintaining normal fluid levels, thereby preventing dehydration.
  • Maintaining normal electrolyte levels in infected persons.

 

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Somso Kizor enjoys words. She loves reading good books and writing - amongst other things. Somso is passionate about educating people about their health; as this would reduce the burden of diseases and deaths (hence, suffering) all over the world. Let's not forget the popular saying that goes "health is wealth."

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