Health workers at higher risk of contracting Lassa – NCDC warns

Following increasing cases of Lassa fever in the country, the Federal Government has called on Nigerians to maintain high food and personal hygiene.

The Federal Government made the call in a statement issued by the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) during the week.

NCDC advised Nigerians to keep their foods away from rats and other house rodents. They also urged that suspected Lassa cases be quickly reported to ensure treatment is begun on time.

“Lassa fever is curable when there is rapid laboratory testing to confirm the disease, leading to early commencement of treatment”, it said.

While explaining further, the NCDC disclosed that so far, it has confirmed 19 Lassa fever cases in seven states namely; Ogun, Taraba, Nasarawa, Edo, Ondo, Rivers and Plateau states.

It also revealed that six people have already been killed of the disease, urging health workers to take caution in discharging their duties.

“The NCDC wants to remind healthcare workers that they are at a higher risk of contracting Lassa. They are therefore encouraged to ensure strict infection prevention and control practices at points of care,” part of the statement read.

“All febrile illnesses must be tested for malaria before treatment; tests that return negative for malaria may be Lassa fever and must flag suspicion.

“We encourage frontline health workers to report all suspected cases of Lassa to their Local Government Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers and/or State Epidemiologists.”

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