Elsie Uduak Onwunhafua is a Fellow in College of Veterinary Surgeons, Nigeria. Her academic career in the veterinary profession started 25 years ago in the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria where she obtained the Degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine; Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine. At present she is an Equine Surgeon and Equitation Tutor at the Nigerian Defence Academy. She has many publications to her credit in reputable journals and is the Author of a book titled “Molecular Identification of Yeasts Associated with Bovine Mastitis”.
The Lassa fever season has lasted longer and generated more cases and deaths than expected in Nigeria since last year. A cross sectional study was designed to assess knowledge, attitude and practice of shop owners of four community markets in a military barrack in Kaduna State, Nigeria towards Lassa fever virus. Structured questionnaires were prepared and administered to 200 respondents by face to face interview. The questionnaire sought information on demographic characteristics of the respondents, Lassa fever awareness, knowledge, attitude and practice towards Lassa fever virus. Associations between demographic variables and categorized knowledge, attitude or practice scores were assessed using χ2 analysis. The mean knowledge score of respondents was 11.5 out of 16 items scored, 5.6 out of 9 for attitude and 5.2 out of 7 in the practice of the respondents towards Lassa fever virus. Among the 200 respondents, 128 (64%) knew that Lassa fever virus is a highly infectious viral disease and 153 (76.5%) knew it is found in rats. Also, 190 (95%) said they will go to the hospital if they have symptoms while, all of them agreed it is good to wash hands often. Respondents who had tertiary education were 0.2 times more likely to have good knowledge (OR=0.23, 95% CI on OR=0.13-0.54) than those with less education. Positive attitude towards Lassa fever virus improved with increase in the level of education, as respondents with no formal education were more likely to have negative attitude (OR=2.04, 95% CI on OR=0.66-6.33). Respondents in community market four (CM-4) were 2.45 times more likely to have good practice than respondents in other community markets. The findings in this study show that the respondents have a good knowledge, positive attitude and practice towards Lassa fever virus nonetheless, awareness programs should continue; proper medical care should be provided for the sick and protective gears should be available to health care workers. Prevention of Lassa fever largely relies on community engagement and promoting hygienic conditions to discourage rodents in the surroundings.
David Blihar accepted his BS in the fields of Human Biology and Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (UWGB). He is currently a second term medical student at Saint George University – Grenada. He is also a member of the Medical Student Research Institute (MSRI) where he currently works under Dr. Kotelnikova researching case studies of rarely reported microbiological pathogens and associated virulence factors. He has actively been involved in private education with UWGB and Tutor Doctor since 2012 and 2015, respectively, and sat on various safety and training councils within ThedaCare and HSHS hospital systems.
A 31-year-old female was admitted via the emergency department on October 26, 2017 with sudden onset of abdominal pain, fever, chills, and malaise. She had a history of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in 2008 and post operatively developed a bile leak requiring biliary stents. Three years later, she developed hepatic cysts which were surgically extirpated in 2011 and 2012. She remained asymptomatic with occasional mild right upper quadrant pain without fevers until the current presentation. Importantly, she had no history of any previously reported risk factors for R. planticola infection, a rarely reported pathogen of gastrointestinal origin, including solid organ, hematologic malignancy, chemotherapy, transplantation neutropenia, cirrhosis, seafood ingestion, nor proton pump inhibitor use. Physical examination revealed she was afebrile, anicteric, had slight diffuse abdominal tenderness on palpation, and showed signs of moderate distress with abdominal pain. Computer tomography and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) showed dilated right intrahepatic biliary ducts with evidence of a surgically absent gall bladder. Biliary sepsis and bacteremia due to intrahepatic duct stricture were suspected and piperacillin/ tazobactam therapy was started. Blood cultures reported positive and the isolate was reported as R. planticola on the third hospital day. The isolate was resistant to ampicillin and piperacillin. Therapy was changed to ceftriaxone 2 grams parenterally. She quickly improved clinically and was discharged on home therapy with referral for subsequent evaluation and treatment of the intrahepatic duct strictures.