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Lassa Fever: a rodent-human interaction

This resource examines the sites of interactions between humans and the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis. It presents findings such as new arenaviruses in other African rodents and in snakes, that  argue preferably toward the host-switching concept. The recent emergence in Sierra Leone, the absence of virus positive Mastomys between the two endemic zones and poor virus diversity in the Mano River area also point in the direction of a unique import of Lassa virus from Nigeria to Sierra Leone during the 19th century. This resource also discusses the hypothesis of human displacements through the Atlantic slave trade and its abolition in 1807.

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Diversity and dynamics in a community of small mammals in coastal Guinea, West Africa

This resource investigated three villages in high endemic zones of Lassa fever in Guinea and presents the biodeiversity of the small mammal community identified through standardized trapping in houses, cultivations and forest.

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Forecasting rodent outbreaks in Africa: an ecological basis for Mastomys control in Tanzania

This study collected rainfall data preceding historical outbreaks of Mastomys rats in East Africa in order to test the hypothesis that such outbreaks occur after long dry periods. It found that rodent outbreaks were generally not preceded by long dry period and the population dynamics of Mastomys natalensis rats in Tanzania are significantly affected by the distribution of rainfall during the rainy season.

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When the field is a ward or a clinic: Hospital ethnography

This resource attempts to demonstrate the value of deeply embedded hospital ethnography as a means to offer a new level of data with which to synthesise critical medical anthropology. The author uses this collection to showcase how hospital-based ethnographic work offers a collaborative approach in which the ethnographer, of necessity, must take into account a broader range of experiences in hospital encounters.

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The future of health behavior change research: What is needed to improve translation of research into health promotion practice?

This resource examines the reasons behind why most behavioural and health promotion messages has not been translated into practise, and suggests potential changes necessary. This is inclusive of changes on the part of researchers, funding agencies, and review and editorial boards. 

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The process and practice of diagnosis: Innovations in diagnostics for Lassa fever in Sierra Leone

Chapter 5 of Annie Wilkinson’s PhD thesis, provides a detailed description of health seeking behaviours for Lassa Fever in rural Sierra Leone. In this context, people interpreted and managed Lassa Fever in light of their familiarity with a wide range of other diseases, some of which were viewed as dangerous and others less so; in contexts where sickness, health and treatment were marked by uncertainty; and where hospitals were not necessarily perceived to be sites of good care.  An important insight is that people differentiated ‘big sick’ or ‘hospital sick’ from an ordinary or ‘small’ sick and it was partly on the basis of this distinction that people would choose to access care.

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Knowledge, attitude and practice of Lassa fever prevention by students of the University of Benin

This study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practice of prevention of Lassa fever, amongst students resident in the campuses of University of Benin. The knowledge of the majority 276 (91.7%) of the study population about Lassa fever disease was poor. Good preventive practices were reported by 28 (73.3%) of respondents and fair practices was reported by 10 (24.3%) of respondents with good knowledge.  It was found that preventive practices were significantly associated with level of study of students (p=0.033). Conclusion: Continued dissemination of accurate information on Lassa fever disease is indicated at all levels of study in the University system to improve preventive practices and reduce risk of Lassa fever disease amongst student population.

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Lessons from the West Africa Ebola epidemic: A systematic review of epidemiological and social and behavioral science research priorities

This systematic literature review compared the epidemiological (EPI) research and the qualitative social and behavioral science (SBS) research published during the West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic. The findings support a program of action that situates data collection and analysis in real-time, recursive, integrated efforts to move community attitudes, behaviors, and responses into epidemiological research, and the paper offers recommendations to improve coordinated, multidisciplinary approaches to health emergencies.

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Monkeypox: Did the Nigerian media do more harm than good?

The objective of this study was to describe the kind of information published by the media during the Monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria. Although most of the information reported were from verifiable sources, there was a high level of sensationalism around the Monkeypox outbreak which heightened public anxiety. Health reporters and the media in Nigeria should be trained on how to accurately report disease outbreak reports and health facts.

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Knowledge, attitude and practice to Lassa fever virus among shop owners in four community markets in a military barrack in Kaduna state, Nigeria

This resource describes the results of a Knowledge, attitude and practice survey conducted amongst shop owners of four community markets in a military barrack in Kaduna state, Nigeria. The findings in this study show that the respondents have a good knowledge, and positive attitudes and practices 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.

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