Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
One person has been quarantined in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the Lassa fever disease.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, disclosed this yesterday in Gwagwalada Area Council during the flag -off of the campaign to avert the outbreak of Lassa fever and Coronavirus in the country’s capital.
There is no known case of Lassa fever in the FCT which has killed 41 persons in 19 states since the latest spike in cases since late last year.
Aliyu said the suspect was quarantined following rumours of the spread of the pandemic in Kubwa and Bwari areas in the FCT.
“What we are talking about is Lassa fever and the Coronavirus. It was rumored in Bwari and Kubwa but it is yet to be authenticated. One person has been quarantined but as I speak to you, this is to show you that it is not far from us, you could be the next,” the minister said.
She urged the chairmen of the six Area Councils in FCT to take up the challenge and scale up the Lassa fever awareness campaign to prevent any outbreak of the disease in their domain, adding that the battle against these global diseases should be the collective responsibility of government, parents and caregivers.
The minister revealed that transmission from person to person can occur following exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected individual.
She called for promotion of good environmental and personal hygiene in individual homes.
According to her, “Humans become infected from direct contact with the urine and faeces of the rat which contain the virus, through touching soiled objects, eating contaminated food, or exposure to open cuts or sores.
“Transmission from person to person can occur following exposure to the virus in the blood, tissue, urine, faeces or other bodily secretions of an infected individual. Promoting good environmental and personal hygiene discourages rodents from entering homes and markets as well as having access to food stuff.”
Aliyu pledged the FCT administration’s commitment to all activities aimed at strengthening the awareness and prevention of Lassa fever and coronavirus diseases and outbreaks in FCT, while reminding parents and caregivers to ensure that they follow all the preventive measures.
In his remarks, Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Adamu Mustapha Danze, commended the administration for taking proactive steps toward curbing the outbreak of Lassa fever and coronavirus in the territory.
While enlightening the public, the Director of Public Health of the Health and Human Service Secretariat, Dr. Josephine Okechukwu, described Lassa fever as an epidemic prone zoonotic disease, adding that it is an acute viral illness-a hemorrhagic fever.