Abia State Government reports outbreak of lassa fever and warns residents to take measures to protect themselves.

State Health Commissioner, Dr. Joe Osuji, announced the outbreak yesterday in a statement.

He warned citizens to be vigilant because a case has been confirmed and the victim quarantined for treatment.

The state government, Osuji said, has swiftly constituted a rapid response team to mount a 24-hour operation that will last for 21 days.

The team will closely monitor and deal with the outbreak.

He strongly advised Abia State residents to observe preventive measures.

These include regular washing of hands, keeping the environment clean, avoiding soaking and drinking “raw garri,” and warming food before eating.

Those who contract the disease are advised to promptly report to hospitals and primary health care centres for emergency care.

“The outbreak has so far been contained, therefore there is no cause for alarm,” Dr. Osuji said.

He praised the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, for prompt support of the Ministry of Health to deal with the threat.

What is Lassa Fever?

Lassa fever is an acute, rapidly spreading disease carried by rats that typically breed in West Africa.

An average of 1 in 20 persons die from Lassa Fever in any population where it is reported.

It is a deceptive disease because 80 percent of those infected will not experience bleeding, its most common sympton.

Whenever it affects the liver, kidney or spleen, the disease becomes fatal.