Lassa Fever: Five Die In Benue
Benue state governor Samuel Ortom (photo credit: NAN)

National Centre for Disease Control says five persons have been confirmed dead in Benue state, north-central Nigeria, following an outbreak of Lassa fever.

Concise News learned that 21 suspected cases of Lassa fever were received from the state out of which eight cases were confirmed.

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Speaking to newsmen on Friday in Makurdi, Programs Officer, Risk Communications Desk, Hanatu Bello, disclosed that “Lassa fever, though preventable, must be treated early.”

She added that “Lassa fever is caused by the body fluids of rats and once these body fluids contaminate our utensils, they can cause infection. Infected persons can also infect others and it only takes a few days to show signs and symptoms such as fever, sore throats, bloody diarrhea, bleeding from the gums, bleeding into skin, eyes and urine.”

She also said, “We must encourage people to wash their hands properly by observing the five steps of hand washing,” she said. “Hand washing must be with running water and not static water before cooking, after the use of toilet and while attending to sick people, before and after attending to cuts or wounds.

“We must discourage people from keeping trash in their house and we must constantly keep our surroundings clean and we must keep our trash bins covered so that they don’t attract rodents. We must also block rat holes in our house. Raw foodstuffs should also be properly covered.”