Nigeria is struggling with a resurgence of the dangerous lassakoorts, that is also a number of workers has claimed the lives of. However, there is but little chance of a massive outbreak, says Lut Lynen, head of the department of clinical sciences of the Institute for Tropical. An adjustment of the travel advice for the country is not necessary.
According to the world health organization (WHO) were there between 1 January and 18 February all 913 people infected. 73 people died from the disease, including at least four first responders.
Lassakoorts is a contagious virus that is transmitted through rats. Anyone who comes in contact with products or foods by rats touched, can become infected. An infection from human to human is possible by exposure to the virus in blood and bodily fluids with Lassa infected persons. It is, therefore, that healthcare workers are at risk.
According to Lynen is such an outbreak is not so very exceptional. ‘In West Africa each year between 300,000 and 500,000 infections. However, it warned the health organization Alima that this year twice as many cases as usual. That may have to do with the drought, or the expansion of the cities, giving the rats closer to the population. But it could also be that people by raising awareness of the disease just better recognized, and more testing.”
The symptoms seem to be what those of ebola: fever (blood) vomiting and diarrhea. But the disease is much less severe. “Most people have of lassakoorts not more than a flu. But 10 to 20 percent of the people in the hospital are included. Only 1 to 2 percent of infected persons died in the end. When ebola is that much more: more than half of the people died thereof.’
The chance of a massive outbreak eight Lynen is not so great. ‘Nigeria during the outbreak of the ebola virus has already proven that it is an epidemic face. Moreover, it is true that now people are aware that it is lassakoorts she is going to also better take precautions, especially in the care of patients.” That there are also aid workers have been killed is most likely because they with the body fluids of patients are in contact, without that they are aware of that that people lassakoorts had.
Lynen calls those who come to the region, go on to ‘extremely well’ on the hygiene to pay attention to, especially the food. ‘Though it is not always evident. Rats entering kitchens and restaurants, so food or drink to infect.’