Lassa Fever

…urges residents in endemic zones to visit health centres for proper diagnosis

The Edo State Government has warned residents of the state, especially those in areas where Lassa Fever is endemic, against self-medication, urging them to visit medical centres for proper diagnosis when they feel feverish.

In a statement, Special Adviser to the State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said that the state government is stepping up awareness of Lassa Fever to mitigate the resurgence of the ailment in the state.

He urged residents in the state to desist from self-medication, but rather visit health centres for proper diagnosis.

The state government embarked on an extensive media campaign since reports of the resurgence of the viral disease in some states across the country, informing residents of measures to prevent a resurgence and helplines to call for assistance to stem the spread of the ailment.

According to the governor’s aide, “The state government is committed to ensuring that there is no resurgence of Lassa Fever in Edo State. We have commenced an extensive media campaign, and have called out to the local government councils to ensure directives on environmental sanitation and the need to avoid bush burning are adhered to.

We are working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to mitigate resurgence of the ailment.

“However, we are also aware that a number of people are prone to elect to self-medicate when they experience symptoms of fever.

This is why we are putting this call out there, especially for persons in areas where Lassa Fever is endemic. People should go to the health centres to get proper diagnosis when they feel feverish before they start taking medications.

“A number of casualties recorded were due to the fact that some of the persons came late to the authorities after experimenting with self-medication for a while.

Detecting the virus also requires the laboratory test at reference hospitals, which means that the earlier samples are acquired for testing, the better. Infected persons stand a high rate of survival if the illness is detected early and treatment administered.”

He added that the state government has invested in procuring equipment for managing the ailment at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, which ensures that those diagnosed early stand a good chance of survival.

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