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FG appoints more Lassa fever diagnostic centres in endemic states

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The virus is transmitted by contact with the feces or urine of host animals esp rats while human to human transmission occurs through contact with bodily fluids.

Rat is the most common vector of Lassa fever

The federal Government has designated additional Lassa fever diagnostic centres in the 6 of the 10 states most affected by the disease.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole

Some of the most affected states are: Bauchi, Nassarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo.

Lassa fever or Lassa Hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa Virus and first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria. 

Lassa fever is a member of the Arenaviridae virus family, similar to Ebola.

In 80% of cases, the disease is mild, but in the remaining 20%, it is usually a complicated issue. 

The virus is responsible for over 5,000 deaths in West Africa and the Central African Republic. 

The primary host of the Lassa virus is the mouse (rodents). 

The virus is transmitted by contact with the feces or urine of host animals accessing grain stores in residences. 

Human to human transmission occurs through contact with bodily fluids.

The latest outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria which is usually between the months of November and April owing to dry season has called relevant authorities and stakeholders into actions with a view to containing the deadly virus, and equip Nigerians with relevant information on how to prevent the virus. 

Human activities including burning of bushes tend to drive out mouse/rats from their comfort home to residential areas.

One of the critical stakeholders in an effort to contain Lassa fever outbreak is the National Orientation Agency (NOA) that is mandated to communicate government’s policies, programmes and activities to the general public.

The NOA was entrusted with similar responsibility during the outbreak of Ebola, and the Agency is adjudged to have performed incredibly well in respect of sensitization campaign.

Nigerians should be rest assured of the ability of this government to stamp out Lassa fever. 

The NOA hereby urges Nigerians to abide by high level of hygiene practice to ward off any threat of Lassa fever. 

We should keep our environment clean, and make sure we store our foods in rodent – proof bags and containers while protecting our water from being contaminated by host animal – mouse/rodent.

The NOA boasts presence in all 774 LGAs and 36 States including the FCT nationwide, which properly situates the Agency as being capable to disseminate important information for public consumption.

Let us keep our environment clean and maintain proper hygiene practice; let us unite to kick out Lassa fever.

Do The Right Thing!

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