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Lassa fever kills two in Benue

By: Johnson Babajide – Makurdi

Benue State Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea on Wednesday said that 17 suspected cases of Lassa fever with two death have been recorded in the state since the beginning of 2023.

The Commissioner stated this  while speaking on this year’s One Health Lassa Fever Awareness week, in Makurdi.

According to him,  Lassa fever has become a public health concern in Nigeria and in Benue with outbreaks occurring regularly.

“Seventeen out of the  forty two suspected cases of Lassa fever have been confirmed with two death”, the Commissioner said.

He noted  that  in 2023  the state had a fatality rate of eleven point seven, saying it is not just worrisome but calls for collective action to stop the spread of the disease in Benue.

He however admonished people of the state to desist from hunting and eating of rats.

The Commissioner described Lassa Fever as a zoonotic disease transmitted from rodents to humans and could be transmitted through person to person contact.

He warned that it was the disease was dangerous but preventable if steps such as good hygiene, storing of food in secured containers, keeping the home and surrounding clean, seeking medical attention immediately symptoms are noticed and implementation of vector control measures are imbibe

Dr Ngbea listed the symptoms to include fever, fatigue, headache, sore throats, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea and in severe cases, internal bleeding, leading to death

He  urged the health workers to always observe infection prevention and control measures including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, environmental  cleaning and disinfection, isolation and quarantine as well as patient education.





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