Six cases of lassa fever confirmed in Edo State

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The Edo Government has confirmed recording six cases of Lassa fever in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aihanuwa Eregie, told newsmen in Benin on Monday that the cases were confirmed at the Institute of Lassa Fever Research and Control, Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo.

“Among the six cases, one is from Plateau while the remaining five cases are from Edo.

“Among the five cases from Edo, four are from Estako West local government area while the remaining case is from Uhumwonde area of the state,” she said.

Eregie said that the disease was a serious threat to residents of the state, adding that Edo harbours most of the cases of the disease diagnosed in Nigeria.

 “Lassa fever is a haemorrhagic viral disease caused by Lassa virus which is transmitted from rats, of the family called Mastomys, to humans.“The symptoms of the disease include severe illness with fever and at least one of the following signs: bloody stool, vomiting blood or unexplained bleeding from the gums, nose, vagina, skin or eyes.

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“Lassa fever initially presents like other forms of fever in our community.

“It is important to report all cases of febrile illnesses that are not responding to common treatment measures to the nearest facility for proper diagnosis.

“Edo government is already putting measures in place to stop the further spread of the disease.

“The measures include health education and sensitisation of clinicians and other health workers, intensification of surveillance for Lassa fever and other diseases.

“Other measures are linkage of healthcare centres to the Institute of Lassa Fever Research in the state and early referral of suspected cases to the Lassa fever institute.,’’ said the commissioner.

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She urged residents of the state to desist from bush burning so that rats are not driven into homes.
The commissioner also appealed to residents to embrace good sanitary conditions and proper storage of foods in covered containers to break the chain of transmission of the disease.

She also called for proper and regular hand washing, eliminating rats from homes, wearing of personal protective covering when in contact with persons suspected to have the disease.

Besides, the commissioner called for proper disposal of medical waste to check the spread of the disease.

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