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Letter to the Editors - Lassa fever: The challenges of curtailing a deadly disease

T Ibekwe


Today Lassa fever is mainly a disease of the developing world, however several imported cases have been reported in different parts of the world and there are growing concerns of the potentials of Lassa fever Virus as a biological weapon. Yet no tangible solution to this problem has been developed nearly half a decade after its identification. Hence, the paper is aimed at appraising the problems associated with LAF illness; the challenges in curbing the epidemic and recommendations on important focal points. A Review based on the documents from the EFAS conference 2011 and literature search on PubMed, Scopus and Science direct. The retrieval of relevant papers was via the University of British Columbia and University of Toronto Libraries. The two major search engines returned 61 and 920 articles respectively. Out of these, the final 26 articles that met the criteria were selected. Relevant information on epidemiology, burden of management and control were obtained. Prompt and effective containment of the Lassa fever disease in Lassa village four decades ago could have saved the West African sub-region and indeed the entire globe from the devastating effect and threats posed by this illness. That was a hard lesson calling for much more proactive measures towards the eradication of the illness at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care.

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eISSN: 1937-8688