Viral Hemorrhagic Fever: The Role Of Nurses In Curtailing It’s Spread

In this article you will read on Viral Hemorrhagic Fever: The Role Of Nurses In Curtailing It’s Spread and Also knows about what is viral hemorrhagic fevers

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever: The Role Of Nurses In Curtailing It’s Spread

What is VHFs?

Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses. These include the Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever, and yellow fever viruses. VHFs have common features: they affect many organs, they damage the blood vessels, and they affect the body’s ability to regulate itself.

Types of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever

The types of VHF includes

  1. Fever
  2. Ebola virus
  3. Marburg virus
  4. yellow fever viruses.

LASSA FEVER; Lassa fever is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness. It is endemic in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.

Causative Organism; It is caused by Lassa virus, the reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent known as the “multimammate rat” (Mastomys natalensis). Once infected, this rodent is able to excrete virus in urine for an extended time period, maybe for the rest of its life.

Mode of Transmission; Transmission of Lassa virus to humans occurs most commonly through ingestion or inhalation. Mastomys rodents shed the virus in urine and droppings and direct contact with these materials, through touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores, can lead to infection. Mastomys rodents breed frequently, produce large numbers of offspring, and are numerous in the savannas and forests of west, central, and east Africa. In addition, Mastomys readily colonize human homes and areas where food is stored. All of these factors contribute to the relatively efficient spread of Lassa virus from infected rodents to humans.

Prevalence; An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 infections of Lassa fever occur annually, with approximately 5,000 deaths. Surveillance for Lassa fever is not standardized; therefore, these estimates are crude. In some areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia, it is known that 10-16% of people admitted to hospitals annually have Lassa fever, demonstrating the serious impact the disease has on the region.

Make sure you check our amazing article: Lassa fever

Nursing Care and public health practice settings should be our concern. Viral hemorrhagic fever at it peak; What Can We Do in curtailing its spread; Infection prevention control is the best, it includes various measures that prevent and contain the spread of infectious disease.

These measures include: Hand Washing, which remains one of the the cheapest, effective and easily accessible to every community,  Infection control standard, contact, droplet and airborne precautions. Many of the hospital base workers are hardly complying to the standards of infection control most especially hand hygiene, as a results its in one way or the other prolong patients stay in the hospital industry due to exposure to nasocomial infection and also contribute in antimicrobial resistance. In regard to bed spacing, hardly will you see any of our facility adhering to the standard of 3-3.5 meters bed spacing, which valuate the rules of Infection Prevention Control and enhance infection communicability etc. Moreover, awareness to the public of the importance of hand washing has been neglected.

I am calling on Nurses practitioners, Midwives practitioners, Nurses and Midwives Lecturers, Nursing and Midwifery Students to wake up as this viral diseases has no specific treatment regimen, it is only treated symptomatic.


  • Standard Precautions.
  • Hand Hygiene (Hand Washing).
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Needlestick and Sharps Injury Prevention.
  • Cleaning and Disinfection.
  • Respiratory Hygiene (Cough Etiquette)
  • Waste Disposal.
  • Safe Injection Practices.
  • Bed spacing of 3-3.5m

Role of Nurses in Curtailing the Spread of VHFs

  • Nurses play a crucial role in preventing and controlling transmission of the infection through the application of standard precautions and maintenance of the health care environment. In hospitals, infected patients are a source of infection transmission to other patients, health care workers, and visitors.
  • Nurses should educate , counsel and create an awareness to the public on the diseases and its prevention and treatment.
  • Nurses should encourage and make an awareness on the importance of early presentation to hospital in case of any manifested symptoms.
  • 📌 Infection Prevention Control (IPC) should be a policy in all hospital industries both Government owned and private owned under regulatory body and be under supervision.
  • 📌 Public and Community awareness on preventive measures should be emphasized to be our part, both its advantage and impact.
  • 📌It should be each and everyone responsibility to do and remind others to observe IPC & to wash hand before and after procedures, in between patient, after shaking, before eating and after eating , after defeacation, before and after breastfeeding
  • 📌Nurses should health educate the public to thoroughly cook there food before eating it, and should avoid eating the reservoir’s of such diseases (Multimammate rat or Mastomys, Bat and etc).
  • 📌Nurses should also educate the community on the sign and symptoms of such diseases, and also encourage on early presentation to hospital if symptoms manifest
  • 📌 Isolate a confirm cases and quarantine suspected ones, as this will cut down the rate of spread.

The vast spread of Lassa fever is due to the festive period traveling. Infection Control is a scientific approach and practical solution designed to prevent harm caused by infection to clients, patients health workers, individuals, families and communities. It is grounded in infectious diseases, epidemiology, social science and health system strengthening. Nurses and Midwives are one of the important personnel’s to achieve the prevention of all the outbreak of communicable diseases and others as Community Health Nursing is concern. Read Also:- How Should A Nurse Be Addressed

  • Reference
  1. Infection prevention and control – https://www.hampshire …
  2. Lassa fever – World Health Organization

Written by: Reuben Markus Zirahgi (Student) Contributor Nr Abdullahi Suleiman

Edited by: Nr. Dathini Hamina RN, RM, BNSc., PGDE, MSc.

Nursing Department
University of Maiduguri
Borno State, Nigeria.


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  1. Ibrahim Baffa Usman says:

    Thanks you Nr. Reuben, for your contribution. It is indeed an educative write up. We wish to see more of people like you in this profession.

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