By Dayo Johnson
AKURE—Ondo State government, weekend, disclosed that 34 persons have reportedly died of Lassa fever in the state within the last four months.
The Special Adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Health, Prof. Francis Faduyile, who listed the council areas to include Owo, Ose, Akure South, Akoko South-West, Akure North and Ondo West, said: “The state has recorded not less than 227 confirmed cases in six council areas within the last four months.”
Faduyile said: “There were three confirmed cases among health workers in the state. But none of the health workers died, because they reported early as a result of a high index of suspicions and early presentations. They did well and recovered quickly.
“Although there could still be one or two cases during the rainy season, Ondo State, in the last epidemic, was the epicentre of Lassa fever in Nigeria, and the state government looked into the cause and ways to prevent the disease.
“The first way to prevent Lassa is to stop bush burning, and we have sensitised against this. Besides, don’t put your food where rats have access.”
“There is also ‘deratification’, that is to kill all the rats which the state government has done and was successful.
“Then we had an index of suspicion so that people can start testing for Lassa early.
“A lot of our health workers have been put on high awareness because those that are positive should have prompt treatment.
“Ondo State government has also improved the Infectious Disease Hospital, Akure, to a standard that can take care of Lassa fever.
“The Federal Medical Centre in Owo has an area that can treat Lassa. We have also seen that the sanitation of the area is important.”