Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
The Osun State government has confirmed two cases of Lassa Fever.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr Olasiji Olamiju, made the disclosure on Monday at the Emergency Unit of the state Ministry of Health.
Isamotu confirmed that two patients had been affected by the deadly disease and were currently receiving medical attention at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ile-Ife and Ilesa.
Olamiju, however, assured residents that the government was on high alert to bring the situation under control.
He disclosed that the government had established an isolated area to quarantine affected persons.
He urged the public not to panic as the government had put preventive measures in place to curtail the spread of the epidemic whose symptoms include high fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting and later bleeding from the mouth or other body parts.
Olamiju also disclosed that through the officials of the Ministry of Health, government, at the weekend, extended campaigns to churches in the three senatorial districts to enlighten members on the symptoms of the epidemic as well as preventive measures.
He called on worshippers at different churches in the state, including Winners Chapel, Christ Apostolic Church, Celestial Church of Christ, United Baptist Church, St Peters Anglican Church, St Paul as well as mosques to be wary of rodents – a vector for the spread of the disease.
He urged the public to maintain good hygienic practices and prevent rats’ contact with food items and other edibles.
“It is expedient for people not to allow their food items to be contaminated by rodents’ urines or faeces,” he stated.
“The state government is interested in the health of every citizen. That is why the Governor has given me the mandate to take this campaign directly to the people. We are talking to them in the local language and in a manner that they can understand so that we can put hands together to prevent Lassa Fever rather than waiting to treat people when infected,” he stressed.
“We have put in place all the protective measures and we have sensitised all our epidemiological antennas across the state to capture any case from spreading if discovered in any part of the state,” he added.
He called on the public to remain alert and report suspected cases to appropriate nearby health facilities.