Lassa fever: Cross River Government cautions residents as disease spreads

Cross River State Government has cautioned residents of the state over the unknown deadly disease called Lassa fever.

In a statement issued on Friday by the Director General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, lamented high speed spread of the disease.

She said the disease also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever, (LHF) has been recorded in neighbouring States of Akwa Ibom, Enugu and Ebonyi states.

The DG explained that it has become imperative for Cross Riverians to observe simple precautionary measures to keep safe and stay alive. With growing concern over the health status of our people due to the recent incidence, the people have to observe personal hygiene.

“Observe personal hygiene by covering all foodstuffs and keeping them away from rodents. Destroy all foods bitten by rodents. Block all holes in and around the house where rats and other rodents gain access.

“Ensure you wash hands always with soaps and ashes under running water; store food and foodstuffs in a covered container, do not spread foodstuffs on the ground and cook all foods properly before eating.

“Avoid personal contacts with infected persons. Dispose waste properly and avoid self medication. Do ensure that you visit any Primary Health Care facility across the 18 Local government areas of the state” she stated.

The DG explained that the disease is spread to people via contact with the urine or faeces of an infected mouse (rats). Lassa fever can also be contracted through direct contact with a person or people infected with the virus.

She listed the symptoms to include patients showing signs relative to malaria, thyroid which includes: high fever, vomiting, sore throat, chest pain, back pain, stomach pain, cough, bleeding from ear, eyes, nose etc.

Dr Ekpenyong said that currently, there is no known treatment or vaccines for Lassa fever. However, many of the symptoms can be treated depending on the patient’s clinical condition hence the need to promptly report suspected cases to the nearest healthcare facility. Such an infected person would be isolated from other patients.

In addition, supportive care for persons suspected to have contacted the virus can be highly effective, thus the need for constant examination and observation of people around you.

“The Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and all of its developmental partners are assuring Cross Riverians of prompt responds and quality service delivery in any suspected case,” she stated.


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