Rats are major carriers of Lassa fever

By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo

The Osun State Government on Monday confirmed two cases of Lassa Fever in the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju made the confirmation at a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital.

Dr Isamotu said two patients have been diagnosed with the fever and are being treated at the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife and Ilesa.

He assured, however, that the government was on top of the situation and that there was no need to panic

Speaking on the development, Dr Olamiju also said there was no cause for worry as the state has put measures in place to curtail the spread of the disease.

He said part of the measures put in place by the state government through officials of the ministry of health on Sunday was to enlighten people in churches in the three senatorial districts of the State.

He said the sensitisation campaign was put together to increase the knowledge of the public on the scourge, while urging worshippers at Winners Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church, Latona, Celestial Church of Christ Ayetoro in Osogbo; United Baptist church in Ede, St Peters Anglican church, edunabon, St Paul Anglican church in Ile-Ife, and some mosques in Osogbo among others to be wary of rats and to avoid consuming raw foodstuff.

Olamiju expressed the readiness of the state government to combat the disease.

“The State government is interested in the health of every citizen and that is why the governor has given me the mandate to take this campaign directly to the people. We are talking to them in the local language and in a manner that they can understand so that we can prevent Lassa fever rather than waiting to treat people when infected,” he said.

“We have put in place all the protective measures and we have sensitized all our epidemiological antennas across the State to capture any case from spreading if discovered in any part of the state.”

He called on the people to remain alert and report symptoms such as high fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and later bleedings from the mouth or other body parts to nearby health facilities.

“It is expedient for people not to allow their food items to be contaminated with rodent urine or faeces”, he added.

He said the state government has established an isolated place to quarantine the effected persons.