Government Confirms Outbreak of Lassa Fever in Plateau

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Plateau State Government has confirmed that it has recorded 10 cases of suspected Lassa fever, noting that out of the 10, two have been confirmed by laboratory screening.

This was revealed at a joint ministerial press briefing in Jos yesterday by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kunden Deyin, who said: “We have screened seven persons previously; among them were a Fulani lady, who is now responding to treatment at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), and a student of the University of Jos. And this morning again, we have three other suspected cases.”

The commissioner stressed the need to control the outbreak of the disease through preventive measures of adhering to basic hygiene and ensuring that people consume only clean food and water free from rat contamination.

He reassured that there were trained personnel on ground to handle the cases from primary healthcare to tertiary level.
He added that the state government has risen to the challenge by deploying health workers across the state to sensitise citizens on symptoms and preventive measures of the fever.

“We have commenced aggressive sensitisation and awareness campaign across the state.
“Lassa fever is transmitted through the urine and excreta of rats that serve as a reservoir for the Lassa virus and these rodents are usually attracted to dirty and filthy environments.

 “The campaigns are aimed to enlighten the people on how to prevent the disease and ensure that the menace is nipped in the bud.”
Deyin, who noted that the last time Plateau recorded a case of polio was in 2009 stressed that government was doing everything possible to keep it at bay.

Also speaking at the press conference, the Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Mohammed Nazif,  used the occasion to highlight some of the activities of government, disclosing that the Governor Simon Lalong-led administration has given approval of the sum of N26.2million for an audit plan of the Jos International Breweries (JIB).
He also said the government had processed and released the promotion of 5,858 civil servants and has also approved the promotion 1,067 teachers.

Nazif, who decried the economic situation in the country, said government was doing everything to cushion the effects on citizens through regular payment of salaries, adding that as it stands, salaries have been paid up to July 2016.