Osun Confirms Two Cases of Lassa Fever

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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 Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Olasiji Olamiju, made the confirmation yesterday at a press conference held at the state Ministry of Health.

Isamotu confirmed that two patients have been affected by the deadly disease.

Those affected, according to the commissioner, are being treated at the Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife and Ilesa.

He said the issue is being addressed by state government officials.

Speaking also, the Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Olamiju, said despite the confirmed two cases, people of the state should not panic as the state has put protective measures in place to curtain 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 last 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.

Leading the campaign, the Special Adviser said the sensitisation and awareness campaign was put together to increase the knowledge of members of the public on the scourge of the dreadful disease-Lassa fever.

He urged all the worshippers at Winners Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church, Latona; Celestial Church of Christ in 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 making contacts with raw foodstuff.

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 as well as sensitised all our epidemiological antennas across the state to capture any case from spreading if discovered in any part of the state.”

The governor’s aide called on the people to remain at alert, especially reporting of suspected outbreak and symptoms such as high fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting and 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.