Anambra State Government on Thursday confirmed one death and 15 suspected cases of Lassa Fever in the state in the month of January, 2023.
Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike conformed this to newsmen in Awka, Anambra State Capital yesterday.
Lassa fever, named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred in 1969, is an animal-borne, or zoonotic, acute viral illness spread by the common African rat.
Prevalence and high disease burden have also been seen in parts of West Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria.
Dr Obidike, who said the state’s emergency response team had already been responding to the recorded cases while relevant surveillance measures were in place to curtail spread, further said government had constituted contact tracing teams to follow up on the cases.
“So far in Anambra state, we have recorded 15 suspected cases of Lassa fever and one death.
“The ministry is following the National guidelines in managing the cases of Lassa fever in the state. And we have started contact tracing to manage the situation and prevent further spread,” he noted.
Stating that clean environment was key to reducing risk of Lassa fever infection, Obidike advised residents to visit the nearest health facility if they noticed any signs and symptoms associated with Lassa fever which he said included fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting and muscle pains.
The Commissioner added, “Block all holes in your house to prevent rats from entering. Cover your dustbins and dispose of refuse properly.
He said; “Practice good personal and hand hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap under running water.”
On the outbreak of Diphtheria, the Commissioner said the state had not recorded any case, adding that the ministry was on high alert and taking proactive measures to guard against the spread of the disease in the state.