Lassa fever outbreak: Lagos excluded

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Nabilah AbdulGafar

Recently, there has been an increase in the occurrence of Lassa fever across the country.

As of January 13, a total of sixty confirmed cases have been reported in eight states.

Lassa fever is a viral disease carried by rats of the genus Mastomys that is wide spread in the West Africa region. Patients are being infected through a direct contact with, or consumption of food contaminated by rodent urine or fecal matter containing virus particles. It can acquired through a close contact with an infectious person because it’s respiratory.

Speaking at Abuja on Wednesday was the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu who declared the rise as an outbreak and declared the activation of an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and as well the deployment of Rapid Response Teams to coordinate the outbreak.

The national EOC is said to include representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Ministry of Environment, US centers for Disease Control, as well as other partners.

In the same vein, Mrs Fatimah Abdurrazaq-Sanni, a medical lab practitioner at Oto Ijanikin primary health centre disclosed to our correspondent that Lagos state has so far not recorded any case of Lassa fever.

“Lassa fever is not in Lagos state not to talk of Ojo LGA, we pray God heals the infected people in the eight states.”

She added that necessary precautions should be taken in order to avoid it occurrence in the state.

“Meanwhile we need take necessary precautions so as to prevent it occurrence. For instance, we should avoid travelling to either of the eight states without immunization against Lassa fever, practise constant handwashing,visit the hospital on noticing any fever or psychological changes in our body, desist from storing refuse among others.” she said

Above all, Mrs Fatimah later advised that Nigerians should be more prayerful and as well create mediums to enlighten younger ones about the disease outbreak.

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