Update on Lassa Fever: Lassa Fever now in Lagos

A 25-year old student from Ahmadu Bello University, previous on admission at a hospital in Ojokoro area of Lagos state was diagnosed of Lassa fever yesterday at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba. In the most recent outbreak of Lassa fever about six weeks ago, this is the first recorded case in Lagos

The patient has been isolated to the Accidents and Emergency unit and he is said to be responding to treatment according to Prof. Isaac Adewole, the minister of health.

Also, in Abuja on Thursday, another patient lost his life to the disease, this brings the death toll to 43 people. A senior ministry officer is said to have speculated that Lassa fever may continue to claim more victims especially in February and March because that is the season of heavy procreation in multimammate rats, the main disease vector.

However here are some basic tips to protect yourself and others from this deadly disease.

  • Put your food in rodent-proof containers, store your food properly.
  • Avoid open-air drying of food and other manners of food exposure.
  • Trapping of these rodents in and around the house. Be sure to avoid contact with them or any form of their body fluids.
  • For health officials: be thoroughly careful and maintain standard infection control measures about your job. Gear yourself up with protective clothing (gloves, gowns, googles, masks) when you attend to patients of Lassa fever.
  • Infected people should be isolated from making contact with other unprotected people.
  • Maintain good personal and community hygiene so that rats are not attracted to your residence.
  • During this period, ensure you get your grains, fruits and veggies from trusted sources and wash and cook thoroughly before consumption.