Chief Medical Director, CMD, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, FETHI, Dr Lawrence Ayodele has advised the people of the state not to panic following diagnose a student of the school of nursing in the hospital with Lassa fever last Saturday.
The student nurse is presently receiving intensive medical attention at the Isolation Ward of the hospital and was said to have been responding to treatments.
Ayodele said this yesterday during a seminar on Lassa fever outbreak organised by the management of the Federal Teaching Hospital to douse the raging tension among the populace.
The CMD stated that the virus had been in existence before now and admonished people not to panic but take adequate precaution in order to curb the spread of the disease.
He said an Isolation Ward had been created in the hospital to deal with any suspected case of Lassa fever, stating that the only index case recorded was being adequately handled by experts.
The guest speaker, Dr K.A. Durowade stated that there had been an outbreak of Lassa fever in the last six weeks and it had spread to states like Bauchi, Kano, Niger, Nasarrawa, Taraba, Rivers, Plateau, Oyo, Edo, Lagos and lately, Ekiti.
Harping on the need for people to take extra hygienic measures to tame the contagious disease, the medical expert informed that the primary host of Lassa fever is the multi-mammate mouse (mastomy natalensis), which dwells in the house, particularly where food items are stored.
“Transmission can occur by contact with faeces or urine of the muliti-mammate rat accessing grain stores in residences. It can also be contacted by handling and eating of infected bush rat, and through household items – beddings, utensils contaminated with rodent, among
others.
“Lassa fever can be prevented by avoid contact with mastomys rodents, especially in outbreak region, putting food away in rodent proof containers; keeping the home clean, discouraging rodent traps, educating people in high risk areas about ways to
decrease rodents population in their homes,” he said.
Durowale recommended that medical experts in partnership with stakeholders must scale up public awareness and enlightenment programmes up to the grassroots where the risk of contact is high.
He added that there was need for provision of adequate protective gadgets for health workers and reference laboratories and treatment centres to actually deal with the dreaded infection.


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