By: Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo.
The Government of Osun State, has called on the people of the state to be vigilant and maintain the highest hygiene standard possible in the light of current reported cases of Lassa Fever in some states in the South-West such as Lagos and Ogun.
In a statement signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Sola Fasure, government said there is however no confirmed case of outbreak of the fever in the state.
Government noted that the case of a corpse brought from Lagos, which death was linked to Lassa Fever, was subjected to laboratory test and tested positive to the fever but was buried before the autopsy report came out.
According to the statement, the State’s Ministry Of Health promptly put the relatives of the corpse on a 21-day surveillance but none of them exhibited any symptoms or signs of the fever.
Government also said that there is round the clock surveillance going on across all the local governments in the state to make sure that the people are protected, prevented and safe from the disease.
Government therefore directed that people should be on red alert and take necessary and proactive interest in what goes on around them so as to report any strange symptoms to the authorities on time.
The statement said inter alia: “It is to be clearly stated that currently there is no confirmed case of Lassa fever outbreak anywhere in the State of Osun.
“However, a corpse was brought from Lagos for burial in Osun. The case is linked with the three doctors also confirmed positive in Lagos. As at the time the corpse was released for burial after autopsy had been carried out, the laboratory result was not out.
“The result however came out as Lassa fever positive, after the corpse was buried. The state Ministry of Health however, put all the relatives of the said case on 21 days surveillance, and none showed any positive sign.
“Active surveillance is ongoing by the State and LGA team and all concerned Lassa fever is an acute viral infection. The virus is transmitted from the farces and urine of rats when they come in
contact with food and the food is eaten. This disease is associated with bleeding and can affect any age group.
“The incubation period, that is, the time from when contact is made with the virus and when its effects start to show on the body, is between 3 to 21 days. Any person with severe illness, fever and at least one of the following signs: Bloody stools, vomiting blood and unexplained bleeding from gums, nose, private parts, skin and eyes should immediately go to a hospital.
“Any person who has unexplained illness with fever and bleeding or died after unexplained severe illness with fever and bleeding should report or be reported to the nearest government hospital or health centre.
“The state government has put a surveillance system in place at all LGAs and State EPR Committee.Residents are therefore required to be vigilant, maintain the highest hygiene standard possible, avoid contact with those affected and report illnesses and deaths emanating from the disease to hospitals and government health centres.
“More importantly, we should keep all food away from contamination from rats; and keep rats and other rodents from our homes or other places where they can come in contact with our food.”