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.