chapter One


1.1 Research background

Lassa fever (LF) or Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral disease caused by the Lassa virus, first detected and isolated in 1969 in the city of Lassa, Borno State, Nigeria. Lassaviruses are members of the Arenaviridae family of viruses. The main host of the virus is the lactating mouse (Mastomys natalensis), which is distributed throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. Fever is reportedly transmitted primarily through contact with rodent faeces or urine (McCormick, 2011).

It is endemic among rodent populations in countries such as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, and is known to cause outbreaks almost every year (World Health Organization, 2016). Due to its high incidence, Lassa fever is a major problem in endemic countries (Centers for Disease Control, 2014a and 2014b). Lassa fever is common in West Africa, causing 300,000 to 500,000 cases and 5,000 deaths annually (Richmond, 2003). Outbreaks of the disease have been frequently observed in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, Benin, Ghana, and most recently Mali, but may also occur in other West African countries (World Health Organization). 2016). Overall, a fatality rate (CFR) of 1% has been reported, but the fatality rate in hospitalized severe Lassa fever reaches 15% (World Health Organization, 2016). The clinical presentation of Lassa fever is very difficult to distinguish from other febrile illnesses and usually occurs in the early stages (Bausch, 2001). Symptoms such as gastrointestinal, pharyngitis, and coughing are common signs. However, late complications of Lassa fever include seizures, facial edema, pleural and pericardial effusions, bleeding, and coma. One of the final stages of the disease is shock (Bausch, 2001).

The drug of choice in humans is ribavirin, which should be started within 1 week after infection to improve survival (McCormick, 2011). Prevention of liver fever has been reported to be effective when good community hygiene is promoted to discourage rodents from entering the home (World Health Organization, 2016). These effective measures include proper waste disposal away from home, keeping the house clean, keeping cats safe, and storing grains and other foods in rat-proof containers. Additionally, health professionals and staff should always use standard infection prevention and control when caring for patients, regardless of the suspected diagnosis (World Health Organization, 2016).

A CNN Senthilingam report dated March 17, 2016 (downloaded from the web on May 25, 2016) showed more than 130 deaths from LF in 22 states, and as of March 14, NCDC The total number of suspected cases is 254, as reported by. 137 deaths (probable and probable) and 53.9% CFR. This compares to his 2012 Lassa fever outbreak, which had 1,700 infections and her 112 deaths. More than 160 people have died in West Africa, and Nigeria has 85% of his 164 Lassa fever cases, according to Olaware on the United Nations Agency’s report on Lassa fever, published by Vanguard on April 5, 2016. (138 people). Print media serve as a source of cultural, political, health, and other educational and enlightening programs for the masses, leading them to self-actualization and national development (Ellinas, 2010). Print media is a communication medium through which people share the world around them.

1.2 Problem Description

Lassa fever is a life-threatening blood disease caused by black rats. People with Lassa fever often have fever, chills, and flu-like illness. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications and death. Lassa fever separates families and drives them into poverty. Poorer, it costs the country around Naira 140 billion a year. It interferes with a child’s education and social development in general. So the questions this study entails are:
How effective is the print media in raising awareness of the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria?

1.3 Purpose of the survey

The basic objectives of this survey are to:

Investigation into the cause of Lassa fever in Nigeria
Measuring awareness of print media campaigns against Lassa fever in Nigeria.
To identify audience reactions to Lassa fever campaigns in print media in Nigeria.
How to examine the demographic factors that influence audience perceptions of Lassa fever campaigns by print media in Nigeria?
How to find out what challenges are hampering the Lassa fever print media campaign in Nigeria?


Leave a Comment