Innocent Alenoghena, the Director, Primary Health Care Services in Etsako-West Local Government Area, Edo, on Monday said the area recorded 30 cases of Lassa fever in January.
Mr Alenoghena disclosed this during sensitisation/awareness campaign against the increase of Lassa fever in the locality.
He said the 30 persons diagnosed to be suffering from the ailment were currently at the Irrua Specialist Hospital, Irrua.
“About 30 persons have been infected with the disease in the council area. Lassa fever disease is fast spreading across the local government.
“Edo State has the highest number of persons infected with the disease with Etsako West topping the chart,’’ he said.
Mr Alenoghena said the council had stepped up its campaign on maintaining a clean environment at all times to stem the tide of the virus, urging people of the community to be vigilant and avoid contact with rats.
“The LGC has declared a state of emergency on the Lassa fever epidemic, following the scourge of the disease in the area
“We need to step up preventive measures and this means people must maintain a high level of hygiene at all times.
“Foodstuff should be kept in rodent-proof containers and people should also desist from drying their food stuff on the road, as they never can tell when rats will defecate or urinate on them.
“We will continue to carry out sensitisation at every flag-off opportunity of our health programme, to enable our disease surveillance officers to enlighten the people on the danger of Lassa fever and other related diseases.
“We will continue to go round the communities to sensitise the people to ensure that they keep their environment clean from any form of diseases,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lassa fever, also known as Lassa haemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus.
The virus is commonly transmitted by rats with symptoms including fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, muscle pains, bleeding and multi-organ involvement.