Edo State Government has raised the alarm over rising cases of Lassa fever across the state.
The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akoria Obehi, who raised the alarm in Benin, disclosed that a total of 18 new cases were recorded in the last week, raising the total number of people who are currently on admission in the state to 23.
According to Obehi, the victims include 17 adults and six children, who are currently receiving care at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH), in Esan central local government area of the state.
The Commissioner who gave assurance of government’s commitment to ensuring the health and well-being of every Edo resident, disclosed that the government has stepped up surveillance, sensitization, and other measures to stop the spread of the disease and protect residents across all Edo communities.
Obehi while lamenting the unprecedented rise in the number of infections, called for the support and collaboration of every Edo resident to control and eliminate Lassa fever in the state.
According to her, “Edo State, over the past one week, has recorded 18 new cases of Lassa fever, bringing the cases of Lassa fever patients currently on admission in the state to 23.
“The 23 patients, including 17 adults and six children are currently receiving care at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.”
Prof. Obehi listed the local government areas in the state most affected by the disease to include Esan West, Etsako West, Esan North East, Esan Central, Etsako Central, Esan South East and Etsako East.
Speaking on the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the disease and protect Edo citizens, she noted, “The Emergency Operation Centre for Lassa fever has been activated in Edo State on the 5th of January and they have had three meetings. The various pillars of the Emergency Operation Centre have been activated.
“The Infection, Prevention and Control pillars are currently working on contacting the Diseases Notification and Surveillance Officers in the various local government areas to beef up infection control. We have stepped up communication with messages being developed and disseminated to sensitize people in their local languages.
“We will also be meeting with local council stakeholders today in Edo Central. We will be meeting with the Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA) of the seven affected LGAs, as well as the market women, Enogies, and the healthcare practitioners in the LGAs, among other stakeholders.”
Lamenting the rise in the number of infections, the Commissioner said, “This is an emergency situation and we want people to be aware that cases of Lassa fever are on the rise.
“While the government is implementing a number of measures to prevent the spread of the disease in the state, we urge everyone to support the government’s efforts in curbing the spread of Lassa fever by complying with guidelines to stay healthy and safe.”
She charged, “Wash your hands frequently with soap and water; avoid contact with rat urine or feces; avoid consuming contaminated food or water and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of Lassa fever, such as fever, headache, muscle pain, and weakness.”