Impacts of Deforestation on the Spread of Mastomys natalensis in Nigeria
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Lassa fever is an acute viral disease that is endemic in West African countries of Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Since the first case was reported in Lassa town Nigeria in 1969, Mali 2009, Ghana in late 2011 and serological evidences of the virus was reported in Togo and Benin in 2014 the virus has assumed an endemic proportion in West Africa. Deforestation which is the deliberate disruption of the natural forest ecosystem has been implicated as a major cause of the virus holding to the fact that the natural habitats of the rodent host have been tampered and hence they seek refuge in human homes. Most research work have been centered on the epidemiology ,hygiene and mode of transmission of the zoonotic virus without critical consideration of habitat destruction of this rodents that negate their relocation to human homes in search of food and alternative shelter. This review article aims to raise awareness on the urgent need to control deforestation acts in order to prevent further outbreak of Lassa fever.
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