Benue NMA alerts citizens of outbreak of Lassa fever

By Bridget Ikyado
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Benue State branch, wishes to alert the general public that the season for the transmission of Lassa fever is upon us.
According to Dr Anenga Ushakuma Michael, Chairman, NMA Benue State branch  said several deaths have been witnessed in Benue state in the last few weeks.
 ” We must take all necessary precautions to avoid contracting this deadly disease.
“First and foremost, it is important to remember that Lassa fever is caused by a virus transmitted through contact with bodily fluids or excreta of infected rats, as well as through human-to-human transmission.
” Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, body pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the disease can lead to bleeding in any part of the body,”he said.
He said that in preventing this disease, it is important to avoid the handling and consumption of rats which are the major transmitters of this disease.
 ” No matter how delicious rat meat is, it is not worth sacrificing one’s life for it. Please avoid rats during this season as much as you can.
” Don’t eat them or handle them,” he warned.
Anenga stressed the need  to observe good hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and properly storing and preparing food, as well as encouraging people to seek medical attention if they experience any of the symptoms of the disease.
 If you suspect that you or someone may have contracted Lassa fever, you mustn’t treat it with kid gloves and do not remain silent about it.
You must seek medical attention immediately at a HOSPITAL.
 Don’t stay at home or seek help from a CHEMIST SHOP. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the chances of a full recovery and prevent death.
I urge all members of the public to take these precautions seriously and to remain vigilant, to protect ourselves during this Lassa fever season.