LAGOS, Jan 9: The toll in the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria has risen to 40, the government said.
Casualties were recorded in 10 states of the country, Xinhua quoted Minister of Health Isaac Adewole as saying on Friday. Adewole advised communities to improve their hygiene, including food hygiene and food protection practices.
He also urged the public to avoid contact with rodents and rats and food contamited with rats’ secretions and excretions. The minister said affected states were advised to intensify awareness about the signs and symptoms of the disease. According to him, the affected states were Bauchi, sarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo. He said the ministry had ordered the immediate release of adequate quantities of ribavirin, the specific anti-viral drug for Lassa fever, to the affected states for prompt treatment of cases. Adewole said the ministry deployed rapid response teams to all affected states to assist in investigating and verifying the cases as well as tracing the contacts. He said clinicians and relevant health care workers were sensitised and mobilised in areas of patient magement and care. Besides, he advised family members and health care workers to be careful and avoid contact with blood and body fluids while taking care of sick people infected by the disease. (IANS)