The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has put the number of lives claimed by the Lassa Fever outbreak at 41 people in 10 states out of the total number of 93 reported cases.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this statement during an update on the outbreak in Abuja today. He added that however, no new cases have been reported.
He said “In the last 48 hours, the government raised a four-man expert committee, chaired by Professor Michael Asuzu, to visit Kano, Niger and Bauchi, the three most endemic states. The committee will embark on a fact finding mission, assess the current situation, document response experiences, identify gaps and proffer recommendations on how to prevent future occurrences.”
The honorable minister also stated that the committee was not looking at apportioning but rather document lessons learned to formulate a plan for an effective response system. The committee comprises the ministers of Education, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Environment, Information and Culture as well as Health.
Prof. Adewole also advised communities to improve on their hygiene, including food hygiene and food protection practices. He also urged the public to avoid contact with rodents as well as food contaminated with rat’s secretions and excretions as well as drying food in open spaces and roadsides.
The minister also stated that the affected states have been advised to intensify awareness creation on the signs and symptoms of the disease. These states include Bauchi, which was the first state to record the outbreak in November and Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Plateau, Gombe and Oyo.
He also assured the public that the government is working hard to bring the outbreak to an end. He also said that the ministry of Health has mandated the release of Ribavirin, the antiviral drug used in combatting Lassa fever.