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Death may come in adorable little packages
2015-03-23

The main host of the Lassa virus is the Natal Mulimammate mouse.

Photo: Supplied

Postdoctoral researcher, Abdon Atangana, of the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the university recently published an article online about the Lassa Haemorrhagic fever in the Natural Computing Applications Forum. In addition to the terminal transmissible sickness recognised as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, there is another strain called Lassa haemorrhagic fever.

The disease is classified under the arenaviridae virus family. The first outbreaks of the disease were observed in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Central African Republic. However, it was first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria.

The main host of the Lassa virus is the Natal Mulimammate mouse, an animal indigenous to most of Sub-Saharan Africa. The contamination in humans characteristically takes place through exposure to animal excrement through the respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts.

Mouthfuls of air containing tiny particle of infective material are understood to be the most noteworthy way of exposure. It is also possible to acquire the infection through broken skin or mucous membranes that are directly exposed to the infective material.

“The aim of my research was to propose a novel mathematical equation used to describe the spread of the illness amongst pregnant women in West Africa. To achieve this, I used my newly-proposed derivative with fractional order called beta-derivative. Since none of the commonly used integral transform could be used to derive the solution of the proposed model, I proposed a new integral transform called Atangana-Transform, and used it, together with some iterative technique, to derive the solution of the model.

“My numerical simulations show that the disease is as deadly amongst pregnant women as Ebola,” Abdon said.

Abdon’s research was submitted to one of Springer’s top-tier journals with an impact factor 1.78. The paper was accepted and published February 2015.

Read more about Abdon’s research.

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