Lassa Fever Has Claimed 40 Lives In Nigeria – FG

Lassa fever virus as viewed under a microscope
Lassa fever virus as viewed under a microscope

The Federal Government has confirmed the death of 40 people out of 86 reported cases of Lassa fever outbreak in 10 states.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, while briefing newsmen on the outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever in Abuja. Adewole advised communities to improve on their hygiene, including food hygiene and food protection practices.

“Avoid drying food in the open and along roadsides, it is also important to cover all foods to prevent rodents contamination,” he said.

According to him, the affected states are Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo. “The public is hereby assured that government and its partners and other stakeholders are working tirelessly to address the outbreak and bring it to timely end.”

He said the ministry had ordered for the immediate release of adequate quantities of “ribavirin”, the specific antiviral drug for Lassa fever, to the affected states for prompt treatment of cases. Adewole added that the ministry deployed rapid response teams to all affected states to assist in investigating and verifying the cases as well as tracing of contacts.
Adewole said Nigeria has the capability to diagnose Lassa fever, adding that “all the cases reported so far were confirmed by our laboratories”.

“The ministry would not impose travel restrictions as a form of control measure ‘from and to’ the areas currently affected by the outbreak,” Adewole said.

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