Lassa Fever : Edo Govt urges residents to sustain prevention efforts as resurgence threat looms

The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, has called on residents in the state to redouble their effort against the resurgence of Lassa Fever disease, as experts have identified occurrence of suspected cases of the disease in the endemic areas.

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L-R: Coordinator for the Lassa Fever Outbreak Response Team to Nigeria/ Representative, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Emmanuel Musa; Representative, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Mrs. Elsie Ilori; Member, WHO Team, Pierre Formenty; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie Esq., after the courtesy visit of the surveillance team from the WHO and NCDC at the Government House, Benin City, on Monday, February 19, 2018.

The commissioner who made the call while addressing journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital, explained, “We have observed that after the intervention by Governor Godwin Obaseki to halt the spread of Lassa Fever, it appears that residents in the state are slowing down on preventive measures against the spread of the disease.”

He disclosed that “Medical experts with the health ministry have identified the resurgence of the disease with records of new cases in endemic areas such as: Esan North-East, Esan Central, Etsako East and other areas.”

He advised that “It is important for residents in the state to continue to take steps to prevent the disease.”

“People should protect their foodstuffs and water from rats through storage in well covered containers. Avoid bush burning that can drive rats into people’s homes from the surrounding bush. The environment and homes where people live should be clean always,” Dr. Osifo further urged.

He called on residents to ensure that they report suspected cases of the disease by calling the following numbers: 08033380188; 08023345987; and 08084096723.

“People should ensure that they wash their hands frequently in addition to avoiding contact with infected persons. Any person with fever should go the hospital promptly. Eliminate rats from your homes and communities. Cook your food thoroughly.

“Residents in the state should avoid eating raw food that are not properly stored in covered containers. If possible, people should suspend the drinking of garri,” he said.

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