No fewer than 423 cases of Lassa fever were recorded in Ondo State in 2020, out of which 81 persons died of the deadly disease.
This is just as three fresh cases of Lassa fever was admitted this year while the disease has spread to five Local Government Areas of the state.
The Assistant State Epidemiologist, Dr Dolani Gbelela, who disclosed this during an awareness programme in Ogbese, Akure North Local Government Area of the state, said the state is now the epicentre of Lassa fever in the country.
Gbelela stated that Lassa fever was of a greater burden to the state and advocated that necessary measures be put in place to eradicate the scourge.
According to him, those mostly affected were between 21 and 30 years.
He disclosed that over 10,000 rat poisons were distributed by the state government to the residents of Ogbese in Akure North for the purpose of killing rats in the community to curb further spread of Lassa fever.
He said no fewer than 3000 rats were killed in Owo town after the distribution of the rat poison to the residents last December.
Also speaking, the Acting Commissioner for Health, Dr Jjibayo Adeyeye, said Lassa Fever has killed many people in the state since it was first discovered in Ose local government.
Adeyeye urged all residents of the state to play their role in preventing the outbreak of the disease by burning all bushes around their houses as well as the killing of rats.
The Odopetu of Ogbese, High Chief Oladimeji Abitogun, said proper attention should be given to Lassa fever as the world is placing on COVID-19.
Chief Abitogun said more deaths have been recorded from Lassa fever than COVID-19 in the state.
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