Edo Govt Confirms 26 Cases of Lassa Fever, Tasks Residents on Preventive Measures

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Edo State Government has recorded new three cases of Lassa fever, raising the total number of confirmed cases on admission to 26.

Addressing journalists in Benin City, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, who decried the rising cases of the disease in the state, charged residents to observe preventive measures against the spread of Lassa fever to protect themselves and their loved ones from the disease.

Akoria noted that the confirmed persons, including 10 adult males and nine females, as well as seven children are currently receiving medical care at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).

According to her, “Edo State has continued to record a steady increase in the number of cases of Lassa fever, with a total of 26 persons currently on admission at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH). The 26 confirmed cases on admission which include seven children, 10 adult males, and nine adult females, are all stable and responding to treatment.”

Reassuring the government’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of Edo citizens, the Commissioner noted, “Lassa fever is preventable. Edo State no longer has the highest burden of Lassa fever in the country. This is proof that our interventions are working and that Lassa fever can be prevented.”

She added: “Lassa fever is a viral illness caused by the Lassa virus and is transmitted to humans through contact with the urine or feces of infected rats, or through direct contact with the blood, urine, semen, or breast milk of infected humans. The symptoms of Lassa fever include fever, headache, malaise, weakness, muscle pain, chest pain, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as hemorrhage in severe cases.”

Akoria encouraged residents to avoid bush burning, indiscriminate waste disposal and maintain high standards of communal hygiene.

She further implored healthcare providers to desist from managing illnesses beyond their scope and to promptly refer such cases as early treatment is key to survival and containing spread.

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