Lassa fever: Expert advises on proper storage of food items

Dr Chigozie Ubani, a medical practitioner in Umuahia, has advised Nigerians to ensure proper storage of food items in order to control the current outbreak of Lassa fever in the country.

Ubani gave this advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia, on Wednesday.

Ubani, who works with the Government House Clinic, Umuahia, advised Nigerians to keep rodents out of their homes and foodstuffs as well as maintain proper personal hygiene.

According to him, Lassa fever is a viral haemorrhage disease that has no vaccine yet.

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“Lassa fever is a viral infection carried by a rat called Mastonyms Natalensis that carries the deadly virus.

“The rat actually breeds in a dirty environment. Proper storage of our food items prevents rats from feeding on them; especially the transmission of Lassa virus,” he said.

He called for the examination and good quarantine of travellers in the affected states so as to prevent a further outbreak in the country.

Ubani also called for public enlightenment and awareness on the risk factors associated with the spread of Lassa fever.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 2,034 suspected cases have been reported from 21 states across the country from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2019.

In the recent Situation Report by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); 526 cases were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 1,693 were negative.

The NCDC report showed that there had been 121 deaths in confirmed cases since the onset of the 2019 outbreak.

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