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Rat-atouille: A Mixed Method Study to Characterize Rodent Hunting and Consumption in the Context of Lassa Fever

Bonwitt, Jesse; Kelly, Ann H.; Ansumana, Rashid; Agbla, Schadrac; Sahr, Foday; Saez, Almudena Mari; Borchert, Matthias; Kock, Richard; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

Rat-atouille: A Mixed Method Study to Characterize Rodent Hunting and Consumption in the Context of Lassa Fever Thumbnail


Authors

Ann H. Kelly

Rashid Ansumana

Schadrac Agbla

Foday Sahr

Almudena Mari Saez

Matthias Borchert

Richard Kock

Elisabeth Fichet-Calvet



Abstract

Lassa fever is a zoonotic hemorrhagic illness predominant in areas across Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and southern Mali. The reservoir of Lassa virus is the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis), a highly commensal species in West Africa. Primary transmission to humans occurs through direct or indirect contact with rodent body fluids such as urine, feces, saliva, or blood. Our research draws together qualitative and quantitative methods to provide a fuller and more nuanced perspective on these varied points of human–animal contact. In this article, we focus on the hunting, preparation, and consumption of rodents as possible routes of exposure in Bo, Sierra Leone. We found that the consumption of rodents, including the reservoir species, is widespread and does not neatly tally against generational or gender lines. Further, we found that the reasons for rodent consumption are multifactorial, including taste preferences, food security, and opportunistic behavior. We argue that on certain topics, such as rodent consumption, establishing trust with communities, and using qualitative research methods, is key to investigate sensitive issues and situate them in their wider context. To conclude, we recommend ways to refine sensitization campaigns to account for these socio-cultural contexts.

Citation

Bonwitt, J., Kelly, A. H., Ansumana, R., Agbla, S., Sahr, F., Saez, A. M., …Fichet-Calvet, E. (2016). Rat-atouille: A Mixed Method Study to Characterize Rodent Hunting and Consumption in the Context of Lassa Fever. EcoHealth, 13(2), 234-247. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-016-1098-8

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2015
Online Publication Date Feb 19, 2016
Publication Date Feb 19, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 7, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2016
Journal EcoHealth
Print ISSN 1612-9202
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 2
Pages 234-247
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-016-1098-8

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Copyright Statement
Advance online version © The Author(s) 2016 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.







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