Govts have measures to curtail spread of Lassa fever, says experts

Health experts on Friday said that the three tiers of government had put measures in place to curtail the spread of Lassa fever in the country.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the level of awareness about the disease was high.

An orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Odusote Olumuyiwa, said, “It is unfortunate that we have a resurgence of Lassa fever outbreak.

“If our preparedness is at the same level with how we tackled the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and the first time we had an outbreak of Lassa fever, we would have nipped any outbreak in the bud when it recurred.

“But, we have a problem with how to sustain what we had done before; but I am positive in this case that we will be able to curtail its spread,“ he said.

Olumuyiwa said that there was the need to raise more public awareness to sustain the campaign.

“People must be ready to fight against the spread of rodents that transmit the virus in order to curtail its spread,“ he said.

Also, a consultant microbiologist, Dr Mutiu Bamidele, lauded the Lagos State Government for putting a referral surveillance system in place based on a model it adopted for the eradication of poliomyelitis.

“At the local level, we have disease surveillance nursing officers who report any suspected case to the state epidemiologist for investigation.

“If there is any suspected case, the right thing is to isolate the case and inform an epidemiologist who will inspect the environment where it was detected.

“The epidemiologist does the contact tracing to prevent its spread,“ Bamidele, who lectures at the Lagos State College of Medicine, Ikeja, said.

He said that at the national level, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has put in place a response team that would attend to any suspected case.

“For example, if we have any case in Lagos State, we are bound to inform the national, and there is information sharing among all the states in that regard,“ he said.

Similarly, Dr Adefunke Adeshina, a medical doctor at the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, said that Lassa fever was not seasonal, but virus-based.

“If there is an outbreak of the virus, we are up to the task to attend to anybody that is infected.

“We know it is something that is contagious; it is spread through inhalation and body fluids, “ she said.