By Festus Ahon
ASABA—DELTA State Government, yesterday, allayed fears over the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state, assuring that as at yesterday, (Monday) there was no reported case of the endemic disease in any part of the state.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, who briefed newsmen in Asaba to sensitize the public on possible ways of contacting the disease as well as its symptoms, said that despite the state’s boundaries with Edo and Rivers States where the outbreak had been reported, the government was doing everything to prevent its spread to Delta State.
According to Azinge, boundary patrol teams made up of medical personnel and other stakeholders, had been setup to scrutinize movements across in the seven local government areas of the state that share boundaries with Edo and Rivers States.
He said the councils included Ethiope East and West, Ika North-East, Ika South, Warri North, Oshimili North and South, promising to step up efforts with other relevant stakeholders including the state Ministry of Environment and local governments to ensure adequate prevention of the spread of the disease to Delta State.
He, meanwhile, listed symptoms of the disease to include, fever, sore throat, cough, chest pain, diarrhea, among others, lamenting the disease through a particular specie of rat called Miltimamamate (with a pointed nose).
Saying that the disease was first recorded in Nigeria in 1969 and a case in Delta 2011, which was brought under control immediately, he warned Deltans to avoid eating rat as meat, exposing food items and water to avoid being infected by the poisonous rats.
On his part, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah emphasised the need for effective sensitization of the public on the disease, noting that the Information officers in the state as well as agencies and departments under the ministry would be adequately mobilized in the awareness campaign.