Lassa fever kills 8 in Plateau – Health Commissioner

The Commissioner for Health in Plateau, Kunden Deyin, has said
that the state recorded eight deaths, 13 confirmed cases and 50
suspected cases of Lassa fever from December 2015 to date.
Mr. Deyin told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos on Sunday that
the state had commenced aggressive sensitisation and awareness
campaigns in Jos-Bukuru metropolis and in the 17 local
government areas.
He said that the campaigns aimed to enlighten the people on how
to prevent the disease and ensure that the menace was nipped in
the bud.
“Lassa fever is transmitted through the urine and excreta of a rat
that serves as a reservoir for the Lassa virus and this rodent is
usually attracted to dirty and flirty environments.
“The ministry, through its sensitisation campaign, is making an
effort to educate the populace on the importance of keeping a
clean environment and on the need to ensure that all foods are
stored in rodent-proof containers.
“We are also encouraging them to desist from drying food stuff
on the road side since the rats can urinate and defecate in them.
“We embarked on this social mobilisation because we believe that
prevention is better than cure,” he said.
Mr. Deyin also said that the ministry was in liaison with traditional
and religious leaders on the need to sensitise their wards and
congregations on the importance of promoting good community
and personal hygiene.
He emphasised that this was the surest means of discouraging
rodents from entering their houses.
He said the ministry had trained 54 laboratory scientists from the
17 local government areas to ensure that basic precaution
methods were practiced and 20 morticians on how to
decontaminate corpses.
He also said that the ministry had procured drugs, Personal
Protective Equipment and other materials to ensure that standard
precaution methods were observed.

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