Following the outbreak of Lassa fever,the Federal Government says 41 have died from 93 reported cases in 10 states of the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, stated this at a joint media briefing organised with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Abuja Tuesday.
“As of today records from our surveillance show that the number of suspected cases is 93, the number of laboratory confirmed cases is 25 and the number of reported deaths is 41, with a case fatality of 44 per cent”.
“In the last 48 hours the government raised a four-man expert committee, chaired by Prof. 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,’’ he said.
According to him” the Federal Government planned to establish an inter-ministerial committee as part of the long-term measures to end the menace of Lassa fever in the country”.
“The committee will be made up of the ministers in charge of education, agriculture and natural resources, environment, information and culture as well as health”.
“We will like to state that given the high index of suspicion, the increasing number of suspected cases may not be out of place, as health practitioners are more likely to include Lassa fever as a differential diagnosis in their health care facilities.
The minister therefore advised communities to improve on their hygiene, including food hygiene and food protection practices and avoid contact with rodents and rats as well as food contaminated with rat’s secretions and excretions.