2nd December, 2023
By Paul Dada
The Benue State government has warned traders to stop buying too many live rats and bringing them into the state as this could cause an outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.
The State Epidemiologist, Dr. Terungwa Ngishe while speaking at a one-day Sensitisation Engagement on Antimicrobial Resistance, AMR, organised in Makurdi by the Benue State office of One Health, said the traders were bringing in the rats from states like Kano, Kaduna, and Bauchi
According to him, the rat traders were taking advantage of the fact that people in Benue eat rats.
He said, “Rats are not eaten in some other parts of the northern states. So the rats are freely caught and brought into Benue, thereby exposing the people to the outbreak of Lassa fever.
“This is especially so since the traders would not be able to differentiate the species of rats that carry the virus.
“People bring the live rats in sacks. And it will surprise you to know that these rats are coming from other states like Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and others into Benue.”