Edo: Lassa fever spreads to 11 LGs, 176 cases confirmed

Lassa Fever

Doctors attending to Lassa Fever patient

By Jethro Ibileke

Lassa fever, the dreaded hemorrhagic virus disease has defied efforts of Edo government to contain it as it has spread to at least 11 local government areas of the State.

So far, the State has recorded no fewer than 176 cases since the outbreak of the disease in the state, with Etsako West and Esan West Local Government Areas areas the worst hit by the disease.

Edo State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, disclosed this on Wednesday the Government House, in Benin City, after the weekly Edo State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting chaired by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

According to her, “11 local government areas of Edo State have been affected by Lassa fever, and leading among these are Etsako West and Esan West, which account for about 64 percent of the cases and 52 percent of deaths.

“As of Tuesday, April 5, 2022, we have confirmed 176 cases of Lassa fever in Edo State and we are committed to eradicating it, focusing on ending the breed of rats that cause the disease.”

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Prof. Akoria however disclosed that the Obaseki-led administration will continue to invest massively in the provision of quality healthcare services to the people, so that more residents, especially rural dwellers will have access to quality and affordable healthcare services.

She added, “We are committed to ensuring the upgrade of primary health care facilities in the state. If properly run, primary healthcare facilities will become the gateway and bedrock of quality healthcare for the people of Edo State.

“Our focus and vision for the state is for Edo people to access healthcare that is equitable and affordable and as close to where they live and work as possible. We will make Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) work in the State.”

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

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