By Mustapha Sumaila
A public health official, Dr Taofeekat Ali, on Friday urged government at all levels to be more proactive in creating awareness to check the spread of Lassa fever.
Ali, who is the Public Health Officer at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She said that the involvement of the mass media would improve this awareness and check the fatality of the disease.
Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness of 2 to 21 days duration that occurs in West Africa.
The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.
The current outbreak of Lassa fever had claimed two lives in Lagos while more than 100 suspected cases were under surveillance.
A 22-year-old male patient had been under medical observation for suspected case of Lassa fever at the Ijaiye General Hospital in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
“To create awareness in our communities is very important and such should be done by using all media available like radio jingle, social media and print media,” he said
She urged Nigerians to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene including regular washing of hands and covering of food items to prevent contact with rodents that are the carriers of Lassa fever.