Borno confirms new Lassa Fever case after 48 years

Maiduguri, March 1, 2017(TNE): Borno has recorded a new case of Lassa fever after the disease first appeared in the state 48 years ago, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Haruna Mshelia, confirmed on Wednesday in Maiduguri.

Nigeria recorded the first Lassa fever case in Lassa village of Borno in 1969.

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of one to four weeks duration that occurs and transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of a rodent .

It is zoonotic disease, meaning that human beings become infected from contact with infected animals which are mainly rats.

Lassa is deadly and it is estimated to kill 5000 people yearly in West Africa.

Mshelia told newsmen that test conducted on a 32-year-old woman in the state, tested positive to Lassa.

He explained that the woman who resided in Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area, had developed some symptoms of the disease after taking ill.

He said that the ministry had taken precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

”Actually Lassa Fever was first discovered in Borno in 1969 in Lassa village in Askira Uba LGA, but since then, no single case has been reported until now,” Mishelia said.

He said that the ministry had quarantined all the people who had had contact with the woman lately.

”’We are embarking on a mass fumigation of the entire area to kill all rats that might carry the disease.

”We are also placing all those who have come in contact with the woman lately on surveillance,” Mshelia said. (TNE)



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