Clinical Presentation and Outcome of Ribavirin Treated RT-PCR Confirmed Lassa Fever Patients in ISTH Irrua: A Pilot Study

Akhere D. Asogun, Oboratare Ochei, Victor Moody, Chukwuyem Abejegah, Emmanuel Okoh


Background: Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is endo-epidemic in Edo state, with case fatality of 90-100% if not treated. It has been claimed that early treatment with Ribavirin reduces mortality to less than 20%. This study was carried out to assert/confirm or refute/reject this claim.

Aim: To review the clinical features, laboratory findings of Lassa fever and the outcome of confirmed cases treated with Ribavirin.

Methodology: The study was a case series study of the first 41 cases that were treated with Ribavirin in the Lassa fever isolation ward from 28th November 2010 to 26th May 2011.

Results: Up to 63.4% of cases presented late (onset of illness greater than 6 days at presentation). Fever remains the predominant presenting feature of the disease (97.5%). Of the cases that were admitted, 41 were treated, 31 recovered and 9 died, giving a case-fatality rate of 22%. One discharged against medical advice.

Conclusion: Lassa fever victims still present late at the hospital and fever remains the predominant presenting feature. Early Ribavirin treatment improves treatment outcome of Lassa fever in confirmed cases.

Recommendations: The Federal, States and Local government area council members must make efforts to create public awareness on early presentation, diagnosis and prompt treatment with Ribavirin.

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