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1.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 16(3): e0010259, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833509

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The year 2020 Lassa fever (LF) outbreak had the greatest disease burden and this can place an enormous strain on the already overstretched healthcare system and can potentially increase morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases. Therefore, having a knowledgeable healthcare workforce with appropriate skills and competencies to prevent and manage outbreaks of a neglected infectious disease such as LF in Nigeria will potentially enhance public health. Thus, this survey assessed the level of knowledge of LF and its prevention and control (PC) measures amongst the healthcare workers (HCWs) during a LF outbreak in Katsina state, Nigeria. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: During this cross-sectional survey, HCWs complete a validated 29-item questionnaire comprising 18 items on the knowledge of LF and its PC measures and an item on global self-evaluation of their LF knowledge. Psychometric properties of the questionnaire were evaluated. Chi-square and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. Out of 435 HCWs invited, a total of 400 participated in the study (92% response rate). The majority of participants (51.8%) demonstrated inadequate LF knowledge, with 62.9% of those scoring low having a high self-perception of their LF knowledge with the global scale. This LF knowledge over-estimation was predicted by LF training status (odds ratio (OR) 2.53; 95% CI: 1.49-4.30; p = 0.001). The level of LF knowledge and its PC measures among the study participants was low (11.60±8.14, 64.4%) and predicted by participants' LF training status (OR 2.06; 95% CI: 1.19-3.57; p = 0.009), place of work (OR 1.82; 95% CI: 1.07-3.08; p = 0.03) and their designations (OR 2.40; 95% CI: 1.10-5.22; p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: The level of knowledge of LF and its PC measures among the HCWs surveyed was suboptimal and participants' LF training status, place of work and occupational category were the significant predictors. In addition, LF knowledge overestimation on a global scale was observed among a majority of HCWs and this was also predicted by LF training status. Therefore, there is a critical need for health authorities in Nigeria to prioritize continuous on-the-job training of HCWs on priority neglected tropical diseases such as Lassa fever.


Subject(s)
Lassa Fever , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Humans , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Nigeria/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 117: 45-47, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654578

ABSTRACT

As the COVID-19 pandemic poses serious threats to global public health, Nigeria faces a potential public health crisis owing to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, such as Lassa fever (LF) and malaria. In this study, we discuss the possible determinants behind the decreased number of LF cases in Nigeria, which was likely due to the synergistic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the epidemic curve of LF seems to have deviated from the general seasonal scale seen in past years, which could be due to underreporting of cases. In addition, partial compliance with nonpharmaceutical interventions, limited resources, or human behavior could be contributing factors. Thus, we suggest that better differentiation in terms of human and resource allocation between COVID-19 and LF could help curtail the transmission effectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lassa Fever , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa virus , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control
3.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6433-6436, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557694

ABSTRACT

Lassa fever, caused by the Lassa virus of the Arenaviruses family, is a re-emerging public health concern that has led to 300,000 infections and 5000 deaths annually in Africa. Highly prevalent in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Côte d'lvoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin, patients infected with the virus can manifest with cough, sore throat, headache, nausea, and vomiting among other symptoms. Coexisting with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its impacts, cases of Lassa fever in the African population have been reported to decrease due to hesitancy in visiting clinics that leads to unreported cases-all contributing to a silent outbreak in West Africa. Thus, to overcome current burdens, gaps, and challenges caused by Lassa fever amidst COVID-19 in Africa, various recommendations for efficient control of transmission, measures for disease containment, and strategies to correct misperceptions were made.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Lassa Fever/diagnosis , Lassa virus , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Vaccines
4.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376992

ABSTRACT

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa virus/physiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Humans , Lassa Fever/genetics , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/virology , Lassa virus/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/immunology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology
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