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Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Lassa Fever in and around Lafia, Central Nigeria

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 […]

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The Fight against Lassa Fever in Ebonyi State, Nigeria: A Clash of the People’s Culture and Broadcast Media Campaign

Ebonyi State of Nigeria is among the states where the incidence of Lassa Fever has become endemic; and has consequently led to the death of many people including health practitioners in the state. To mobilise the people against the disease, government and stakeholders in the health sector resorted to health literacy campaigns through Ebonyi Broadcasting […]

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At Home with Mastomys and Rattus: Human-Rodent Interactions and Potential for Primary Transmission of Lassa Virus in Domestic Spaces

The multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) is the reservoir for Lassa virus (LASV). Zoonotic transmission occurs when humans are directly or indirectly exposed to fluids of the multimammate mouse, such as urine, saliva, and blood. Housing characteristics and domestic organization affect rodent density in and around households and villages, and are likely to be a risk […]

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Local Disease-Ecosystem-Livelihood Dynamics: Reflections from Comparative Case Studies in Africa

This article explores the implications for human health of local interactions between disease, ecosystems and livelihoods. Five interdisciplinary case studies addressed zoonotic diseases in African settings: Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Kenya, human African trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lassa Fever in Sierra Leone and henipaviruses in Ghana. Each explored how ecological changes and human-ecosystem […]

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Structural Drivers of Vulnerability to Zoonotic Disease in Africa

This paper argues that addressing the underlying structural drivers of disease vulnerability is essential for a ‘One Health’ approach to tackling zoonotic diseases in Africa. Through three case studies-trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe, Ebola and Lassa Fever in Sierra Leone and Rift Valley fever in Kenya-we show how political interests, commercial investments and conflict and securitization all […]

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Material Proximities and Hotspots: Toward an Anthropology of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers

This article outlines a research program for an anthropology of viral hemorrhagic fevers (collectively known as VHFs). It begins by reviewing the social science literature on Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa Fevers and charting areas for future ethnographic attention. The study theoretically elaborates the hotspot as a way of integrating analysis of the two routes of […]

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Extending the “Social”: Anthropological Contributions to the Study of Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers

Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs) offer a frontier for a “One-Health” research agenda; the joined-up, or collaborative, effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment (e.g. http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/). Multidisciplinary work on Lassa Fever and Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea and Sierra Leone explores the connections between humans, rodents such as […]

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Zoonotic Diseases: Who Gets Sick, and Why? Explorations from Africa

Global risks of zoonotic disease are high on policy agendas. Increasingly, Africa is seen as a ‘hotspot’, with likely disease spillovers from animals to humans. This paper explores the social dynamics of disease exposure, demonstrating how risks are not generalised, but are related to occupation, gender, class and other dimensions of social difference. Through case […]

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Rat-Atouille: A Mixed Method Study to Characterize Rodent Hunting and Consumption in the Context of Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever is a zoonotic hemorrhagic illness predominant in areas across Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and southern Mali. The reservoir of Lassa virus is the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis), a highly commensal species in West Africa. Primary transmission to humans occurs through direct or indirect contact with rodent body fluids such as urine, feces, […]

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Emerging Disease or Emerging Diagnosis?: Lassa Fever and Ebola in Sierra Leone

It has become routine to attribute the tragedy of the West African Ebola epidemic to inexperience and lack of knowledge. The states and citizens of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were portrayed as entirely unfamiliar with Ebola and therefore without relevant knowledge. The simplicity of this narrative is disturbed by the experience of Lassa Fever, […]

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