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Top Four Deadly Viruses In Nigeria (2020 Update)

By March 30, 2020 No Comments

Viruses are tiny parasites, usually smaller than bacteria. They lack the ability to survive and reproduce outside of a host body, but as tiny as viruses are, they have huge effects on the life and health of humans. 

Over the years, viruses have diversified globally. They travel at a fast pace from city to city and in most cases, they are harmful or deadly.  There are several types of viruses and all of them differ with the structure, for example; Coronavirus, Ebola virus, etc.

Although a wide range of diseases can be treated, viruses, on the other hand, offer doctors and researchers a unique challenge as medications are often not effective against their attacks in the human body. 

Amid the current Coronavirus outbreak in China, we would be addressing the top five deadly viruses’ in Nigeria today

The top five deadly viruses in Nigeria today are; 

  1. Lassa fever Virus 
  2. Ebola Virus Disease
  3. Coronavirus
  4. Rabies Virus

 

1. LASSA FEVER VIRUS

Fever is widespread mostly in Nigeria. It is an animal-borne disease and it was discovered for the first time in Nigeria.  The virus has a serious impact on West African countries, as many cases of deaths have been recorded. The major host of this virus are Rats, an infected rodent is able to transmit the virus to humans. Eating food or touching materials that have come in contact with an infected rodent may cause Lassa Virus.

SYMPTOMS:

  • Slight fever
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Respiratory distress
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Facial swelling

TREATMENT:

There is no vaccine for humans but antiviral medication, ribavirin, has been recommended as a medication, but evidence to support its use is weak.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

  • Control Rodents 
  • Avoid contact with Rodents
  • Isolate yourself from an Infected patient
  • Practice proper hygiene.

 

2. EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE
Ebola virus disease is a rare but very deadly virus. The Virus was discovered in 1976 and since then it has traveled across countries majorly in the African continent. Ebola Virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood of an infected person; however, the disease is not as contagious as other viruses like measles and cold.

SYMPTOMS:

According to the World Health Organization, the symptoms of the Ebola Virus includes;

  •  Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

This is followed by:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function
  • In some cases, both internal and external bleeding (for example, oozing from the gums, or blood in the stools).

TREATMENT:

Although scientists are working hard to study the virus, currently; there are no particular antivirals for the virus, only supportive treatments. 

PREVENTIVE METHODS:

  • Avoid contacts with blood fluid
  • Practice careful hygiene
  • Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures
  • Isolate yourself from infected patients.

3. CORONAVIRUS

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses majorly responsible for sicknesses ranging from the common cold to other upper respiratory diseases. These viruses can potentially infect animals and also spread to humans; they could also result in death as many cases of deaths have been reported. In late December 2019, China health authorities reported a group of cases of the coronavirus to the world health organization, and today it has become widespread (traveling from one country to another) and the outbreak now constitutes a global health emergency.

SYMPTOMS:

  • Respiratory symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
  • Non-Respiratory symptoms: nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

 In most cases, people recover, while other people may develop severe infections like pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome or kidney failure

TREATMENT:

Although scientists are working hard to study the virus, currently; there are no particular antivirals for the virus, only supportive treatments. 

PREVENTIVE METHODS:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water 
  • Isolate yourself from infected patients
  • Practice respiratory hygiene- cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching nose, eyes, and mouth 
  • If you have a fever, cough or difficult breathing, seek the doctor’s attention immediately. 
  • Avoid consumption of uncooked or undercooked animal products.

 

4. RABIES VIRUS

Rabies is a deadly but preventable virus that is transmitted through the saliva or bite of infected animals. It is an animal-borne virus. The Rabies virus, unlike others, is very rare. 

SYMPTOMS:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Partial paralysis
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive salivation

TREATMENT:

Rabies can be treated if it is detected early, treatment methods include;

  • A series or Rabies vaccines 
  • Rabies Immune Globulin

PREVENTIVE MEASURES:

  • Vaccinate all your animals
  • Isolate yourself from infected patients
  • Avoid wild animals
  •  If you are bitten by any animal, seek medical attention immediately.

 

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