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This 2020 Lassa fever Scourge

27th Jan, 2020 | By Stella Ojeme | ||

What started as an isolated case of lassa fever infection in Ondo state at the break of the year 2020 is fast becoming an ill wind blowing through the country. According to the NCDC Lassa fever situation Week 03 of 13th - 19 January, 2020, the number of New confirmed cases has risen from 64 in week 1, 2020 to 81 cases now.

These cases were reported from six states of Ondo, Delta, Edo,Taraba, Plateau and Bauchi initially but is currently spreading like a raging fire to other states of the federation in numbers of 163 people across 9 states with 24 dead. Lassa fever is a dangerous public health challenge in West Africa, with Nigeria bearing the highest burden due to her demography. It is an acute viral Haemorrhagic fever (VHF) caused by the Lassa virus whose natural reservoir or carriers are RATS.

Epidemiological data shows that Lassa fever occurs throughout the year but more cases are recorded during the dry season. No study has yet explained why this trend but information needs to be put into the public space for prevention of this disease that has no cure. Luckily in FCT, proactive sensitization of residents by the Departments of Public Health and Information & Communications has helped to exclude the Territory from the statistics but make no mistake: It has NO cure. ONLY prevention.

The simple rule is to keep your kitchen and homes clean as Lassa fever is spread by contact through the urine and feces of infected rats and rodents which may be house rats or bush rats. This is the time to cultivate healthy habits that discourage rats from thriving in our homes.
* Use a rat gum/rat poisons if you have to but ensure it is hidden away from children.
* Don't eat any leftover food especially in an environment that rats may be plenty. Those rats may have stooled/urinated in that food.
* When you find a dead rat in your house, do not pick it up with bare hands. The blood and bodily fluid of a living/dead rat can infect you.
* Use gloves to pick any living or dead rat you find in your house and bury it safely or burn it totally. Do not dispose rats anyhow anywhere, please.
* Keep gutters & drainages clean especially around the house.Do not let garbage and housewaste always accumulate in your home. Dispose as soon as possible.
* Cover foods in your house properly. Use airtight containers. Lock your cupboards. Cover holes and opening to prevent rats. Keep kitchen clean.
* If anyone just suddenly falls ill with a fever, body aches, cough, vomiting etc;

kindly go to a hospital. Do not assume it is malaria. FCT Administration hereby urges residents to please stay alert and inform other people too.

News Update

Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made the revelation during flag- off of the first round of 2020 National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs) at Dutse Makaranta, Bwari Area Council, last week.

Country Director of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), Mr. Woochan Chang has said the Nigeria-Korea Model School, Abuja should expand its admission quota to include children from poor and vulnerable.

Chairman, FCTA Traffic Management Team, Comrade Ikharo Attah who led the exercise explained that the removal of the illegal structures became necessary due to complaints from contractors handling the road expansion

Director, FHIS, Dr. Ahmed Danfulani, who broke news of the enrolment exclusively to Abuja Digest Weekly, disclosed further that the retirees have filled the required forms and obtained approval from the agency.


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