The State Government of Taraba State has confirmed another outbreak of Lassa fever which occurred in the state in a very recent development. The state’s Commissioner of Health Innocent Vakkai said,
One person died and two others quarantined as their blood samples is taken for further test at Irrua Specialists’ Hospital in Edo State,”
Mr. Vakkai has advised the public not to panic as the state government has responded swiftly to the outbreak. In his statement he said;
“People usually get infected with the Lassa Virus after exposure to infected rodents, while person to person transmission occurs through direct contact with the sick person,”.
He also called on the residents to avoid contact with rats especially in the areas where the outbreak occurred and urged people who suspect they’ve been infected to report to the nearest hospital immediately.
Recall: A Lassa Fever or Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever outbreak that had occurred in Taraba in February 2012, where 10 people died from the outbreak including a doctor and two nurses who attended to the patients.
It was first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, Borno State. Similar to ebola, Clinical cases of this disease had been known for over a decade, but had not been connected with a viral pathogen.
The primary animal host of the Lassa virus is the Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis), an animal found in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria.