A GIS-BASED APPROACH TO RISK MAPPING OF LASSA FEVER OUTBREAK IN AKURE SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, NIGERIA
Keywords: Lassa fever, Infectious Disease, Public Health, Epidemiology
Abstract. Lassa fever is an acute viral illness, which is endemic in some counties in West Africa, including Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and parts of Nigeria. It is caused by the Lassa virus, which is primarily hosted by multi-mammate rats that live in and around houses. This study sees the need to enhance public awareness by producing risk maps of Lassa fever for the study area. In a bid to understand and predict the prevalence of the disease in Akure South Local Government Area. Temporal and spatial analyses of Lassa fever cases were carried out, information about related environmental variables such as temperature, rainfall, vegetation, and elevation were obtained. These data sets from primary and secondary sources were integrated independently as predictor variables for the developed risk model. The accessibility of incidences of Lassa fever to health centres was determined and analysed. The risk map produced indicates that areas about the Ijoka community are at higher risk of being affected by a future Lassa fever outbreak than other areas. The model developed an understanding of the high risk and potential outbreak of Lassa fever to alert the general public of the virus to curb the future outbreak. However, future research can be on the control and prevention of Lassa fever in the study area.