By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN— EDO State Government, yesterday, in Benin City, issued a fresh alert to residents of the state following reported cases of outbreak of Lassa fever in other parts of the country allegedly said to have been exacerbated by bush burning and other activities that drive rats from the wild into peoples’ homes.
A statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said: “We want residents of the state to take extra precaution against Lassa fever disease.
“The disease is prevalent during dry season as burning of surrounding bushes is common practice. The rats, which spread the diseases, may find shelter in human habitation as a result of bush burning.”
He called on residents of the state, especially those residing in endemic areas to adopt preventive measures in order to ward off the disease.
He said: “Governor Godwin Obaseki has made efforts to halt the spread of Lassa fever in the state. If residents ignore this warning, it may expose them to the disease, as experts have linked the dry season when bush burning is rampant to the resurgence of the disease.
“It is important for residents in the state to be cautious and guard against the resurgence of the disease. People should protect their foodstuff and water from rats through storage in well covered containers. Avoid bush burning that can drive rats into people’s homes from the surrounding bush. The environment should be clean always.”
He urged residents to ensure that they report suspected cases to officials of the state ministry of health or nearest health facilities.
“People should ensure that they wash their hands frequently in addition to avoiding contact with infected persons. Any person with fever should go to the hospital promptly. Eliminate rats from your homes and communities. Cook your food thoroughly.”