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Silas D. Gyar
Rine C. Reuben
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International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology Research

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Lassa fever in and around Lafia, Central Nigeria

Rine C. Reuben1* and Silas D. Gyar2     

1Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Nigeria

2Department of Biological Sciences, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria.

Accepted 11 January, 2016.

Citation: Reuben CR, Gyar SD (2016). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Lassa fever in and around Lafia, Central Nigeria. International Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology Research, 2(1): 014-019.

Copyright: © 2016 Reuben and Gyar. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract

This descriptive cross-sectional study assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Lassa fever in and around Lafia, Central Nigeria. Structured questionnaires were administered to 200 consenting respondents from urban and sub-urban areas in Lafia. Of the 200 respondents, 87% heard of Lassa fever with 89% and 80% from urban and sub-urban areas. There was no significant difference on the awareness of Lassa fever among respondents from urban and sub-urban areas (P>0.05). There was misperception about species affected and modes of transmission of the disease, nevertheless bleeding was mentioned by 39% of the respondents as the major clinical manifestation.  Also, 83% of the respondents had rats/rodents in and around their residence, of which 28% come into contact with urine/feaces of the rodents and 24% consume foods contaminated by the rodents. However, 85% of the respondents do not believe in the existence of Lassa fever. Most respondents (41%) reported that they will show some discriminatory attitudes towards individuals suspected or having Lassa fever. Furthermore, 67% of the respondents were optimistic to accept possible vaccine candidate against the disease. Public health awareness especially among the sub-urban dwellers should be intensified so as to reduce the spread of both the vector and the virus.

Key words: Attitude, knowledge, Lassa fever, practice, zoonotic.