Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Anambra State Government has confirmed one person dead and 15 others under surveillance after they were infected with Lassa fever in the State
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Awka, the state capital on Thursday.
He, however, noted that the State’s emergency response team is already responding to the recorded cases while relevant surveillance measures were in place to curtail its spread.
He further said government had constituted contact tracing teams to follow up on the cases.
He said: “So far in Anambra state, we have recorded 15 suspected cases of Lassa fever and one death.
“The ministry is following the National guidelines in managing the cases of Lassa fever in the state. And we have started contact tracing to manage the situation and prevent further spread.”
Stating that clean environment was key to reducing risk of Lassa fever infection, Obidike advised residents to visit the nearest health facility if they noticed any signs and symptoms associated with Lassa fever which he said included fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting and muscle pains.
The Commissioner added, “Block all holes in your house to prevent rats from entering. Cover your dustbins and dispose of refuse properly.
Practice good personal and hand hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap under running water.”
Lassa fever is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness spread by the common African rat. It is endemic in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Lassa fever is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred in 1969.
On the outbreak of Diphtheria, the Commissioner said that the state had not recorded any case, adding that the Ministry was on high alert and taking proactive measures to guard against the spread of the disease in the state.