Ekiti Denies Alleged Outbreak of Lassa Fever

Mojisola Yaya-Kolade

Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

As panic grips the country over outbreak of Lassa fever, the Ekiti State Government has said there is no cause for alarm over the outbreak of Lassa fever in some states in the country as there’s no confirmed single case of the fever in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, stated this in Ado Ekiti while addressing journalists on the preparedness of the state to fight Lassa fever which had reportedly hit neighboring states of Ondo, Osun and Kogi recently.

Yaya-Kolade noted that all primary health facilities, Specialist and General Hospitals, university Teaching Hospital as well as the Federal Teaching Hospital across the state have been sensitised and adequately prepared on the issue of Lassa fever.

“We are doing a lot of sensitisation and educating for food handlers, store keepers, and all residents in the state on radio, television and in all our health facilities across the state,” she stated.

The commissioner disclosed that Lassa fever, which she noted was contagious, could be contacted through rat or contact with someone who has been infected.

“The transmission could be through rats which are the vectors carrying it or through infected human,” she said.

Yaya-Kolade appealed to Ekiti residents to make personal hygiene their lifestyle, adding that they should engage in consistence and regular hand washing, cover their food, especially garri, properly and refrain from bush burning.

“Cover your garri very well; ensure that the production process is done hygienically; clean your environment to avoid breeding of rats, and be cautious of contact with people,” the commissioner stressed.

She said the Oba Adejuyigbe General Hospital has been dedicated as a quarantine centre for any confirmed case of Lassa fever in Ekiti State.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Jimlas Ogunsakin, disclosed that the incubation period for Lassa fever was between two to 21 days, and that any suspect should be screened adequately.

Ogunsakin noted that the symptoms of Lassa fever include high temperature, headache, vomiting and hitching of the body.