In a bid to contain the further spread of the lassa fever epidemic in the country, Dr. Furo Green, Chairman Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Rivers State branch have advised residents of Port Harcourt as well of the general public to avoid drinking garri soaked in cold water for now as rats that carry the highly contagious Lassa fever virus also like exposed to dry garri.
Because you are not sure which garri has been infected by rats, its advisable to stay away. When you want to sip garri, you only pour cold water, add sugar and milk as the case may be.
When you do that you only succeed in gulping a life virus that can cause Lassa fever. The virus is empowered easily to attack you.
He advised that at the moment, garri should be consumed the traditional way.
Rather, garri should be consumed in the traditional way prepare it well boiled hot water or pour the garri in a pot of boiling hot water and steer it.”
Dr. Green also advised that food should be be stored in closed containers to protect it from being attacked by infected rats.
When you buy foodstuffs like garri, you should pour it into a container that is covered to avoid the garri from being contaminated infected rats.
He further advised members of the public to ensure they maintain personal hygiene of washing hands, keeping their environments clean of leftover food and other measures.
Three persons have reportedly died in Rivers state since the outbreak of the disease, one of which was a medical doctor working with the state-owned Braithwaite Memorial hospital.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole disclosed last Tuesday during an emergency meeting of the National Council of Health held in Abuja on the outbreak of the disease that the disease has spread to 17 states in the country.
He listed the 17 affected states as Bauchi, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Nasarawa, Lagos, Delta, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Zamfara and Kogi as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He warned states to stop the act of denial and pretense and report any case of the disease in their states to the appropriate authorities to help contain the further spread of the disease.