By Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Osun State Government has confirmed two cases of Lassa fever in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, and the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju, confirmed the two cases on Monday at a press conference at the Ministry of Health in Osogbo.
Those affected, according to the commissioner, are being treated at the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife and Ilesa, adding that the issue is being addressed by government officials.
Olamiju said despite the two cases, people of the state should not panic, as the state government has put measures in place to curtail the spread of the deadly disease.
Olasiji said as part of the measures put in place, the state government through the officials of the Ministry of Health on Sunday took campaigns to churches in the three senatorial districts of the state, to enlighten the church on its symptoms and how to track the disease.
He urged all worshippers at Winners Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church, Latona, Celestial Church of Christ, Ayetoro in Osogbo; United Baptist Church, Ede, St Peters Anglican Church, Edun Abon, St. Pauls Anglican Church, Ile-Ife, and some mosques in Osogbo among others to be wary of rats making contact with raw foodstuffs.
Olamiju expressed the readiness of the state government to combat the disease.
He said: “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.
“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, especially reporting of suspected outbreak and symptoms such as high fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, and later bleedings from the mouth or other body orifices to the appropriate 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 earmarked an isolated place to quarantine the effected persons.