Ondo State Government, yesterday, said that Lassa fever has killed over 80 persons in the state in one year.
The Health Commissioner, Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye, said this in Owo, during a road walk sensitization on the eradication of disease in the state.
Adeyeye stated that despite the fatalities and scare caused by the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, Lassa fever in 2020 killed more people in Ondo State.
He said: “According to records, 18 percent fatalities were recorded from the total reported cases of Lassa fever in the state when compared to the less than 1 percent of COVID-19 related deaths in the state.
“All the confirmed cases of the disease in Nigeria, 75 percent are from three states with Ondo State topping the chart with 36 percent.
“We are in an unfortunate situation of COVID-19 all over the world. It has killed 41 people in Ondo State from January till now.
“But Lassa fever has killed more than 80 people. 18 percent of Lassa fever victims have died compared to 1 percent of COVID-19
“It has been with us for a long time. It is when the dry season starts that we experience the issue of Lassa fever. Ondo State is one of the states in Nigeria, where the disease is rampant. This is a serious situation that must not be taken lightly. We are determined about this disease, so we want to eradicate it.
“Unlike COVID-19, Lassa fever can be prevented if we eradicate rodents from our homes and surroundings.
“The rodenticide is distributed free of charge which must not be sold. It is only meant to be applied in homes to eradicate rats. If we don’t kill rats, they will kill us.
“Owo and Ose are the epicentre of the disease in the state, hence the commencement of the campaign against the disease in the state.
“The two local governments have the highest cases of Lassa fever in the state. It is a very serious health challenge.”
Also speaking, the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, who was represented by Dr. Zaccaria Gbelela, maintained that the age group affected most by the disease is those between 21 and 30 years.
Fagbemi added that from January till date, a total of 806 confirmed cases of Lassa fever were recorded with 204 deaths in the country.
Vanguard News Nigeria