Medical Doctors Stage Awareness Campaign On Lassa Fever

"As you are aware, lassa fever is already ravaging Ondo state which is very close to Osun and there have been reported cases of lassa fever in Osun".

Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Tokunbo Olajumoke, made this known during an awareness campaign at markets and other places in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

In a statement Tuesday, WHO says 43 suspected deaths from the viral hemorrhagic fever were reported between January 1 and February 4 and 37 of them have been confirmed.

The United Nations health agency said Tuesday that it is scaling up its response to the outbreak, which has spread to 17 states. Of these, 43 deaths were reported, 37 of which were lab confirmed. "We are observing an unusually high number of cases for this time of year." said Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO Representative to Nigeria.

According to him, "Edo State and some other parts of the country are now experiencing the outbreak of Lassa Fever with significant proportion of the Local Government Areas in Edo Central and Edo North senatorial districts of the state already involved in the outbreak while the others are at risk of being affected".

Among those infected are 11 health workers.

No fewer than 40 persons have been placed under watch in Osun and Ondo state following contact with a Lassa fever patient. Also, its officials worked closely with the Institute and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for case management and disease surveillance.

The reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website says.

In a follow-up to the Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that it is increasing it's response as the continues it's spread in the country.

There is no vaccine to prevent it.

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