Lassa fever: Environment ministry sensitises Nigerians

The Minister of Environment Dr Muhammad Mahmood has revealed what the ministry is doing to address Lassa fever in the country.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, Dr Mahmood latest report from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released on 25th January 2020 has it that 195 confirmed cases and 29 deaths have been recorded in 11 states.

He listed the states as: Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Delta, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, Ogun, Abia, Kano and Enugu. Out of the confirmed cases, 89% are from Ondo, Edo and Ebonyi States.

“It is against this background that the ministry of environment is organising this Press Briefing to respond to the increasing number of Lassa fever cases across the country, sensitize the general public on Lassa fever preventive and control measures to avert further outbreak and spread as well as efforts being made by the Ministry in collaboration with NCDC and other stakeholders in tackling the lassa fever scourge.

He said “Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria and often associated with poor sanitary hygiene practices with cases being recorded all year round. The Lassa fever virus is transmitted by rodents (rats) which can be found in our environment including homes, motor parks, offices and even places of worship. This contributes largely to the risk of spread that occurs in Nigeria and other countries with similar ecological factors.

“Lassa Fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness. It is transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodents (rat) urine or faeces. It can also be transmitted from person to person through contact with blood, urine, faeces and other body fluids of an infected person.”

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