During a press Brief on Wednesday in Maiduguri, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, has disclosed that a case of Lassa fever has been recorded in Borno state, saying that a 32-year-old female (name withheld), a resident of Zabarmari village in Jere Local Government Area of the state had been diagnosed with the virus causing the deadly fever. Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces. Lassa fever was first discovered in Lassa town, Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State about half a century ago. During, the news conference, Mshelia has said that the patient fell sick last week, and was admitted at a government hospital in Maiduguri, where a sample of her blood was taken to Lagos for test. The result was later to show that the patient, who was feeling feverish, tested positive to the Lassa fever virus.
The commissioner, who said even though the patient is responding to treatment, the ministry had to summoned all stakeholders including traditional rulers to sensitize the public on the need to ensure proper sanitation and avoid eating rodents, especially rats.
He noted that already, the ministry had also mobilized its personnel who visited Zabarmari, an outskirt of Maiduguri metropolis where over 20 people were identified to have had contact with the patient.
He has revealed that those identified have already been quarantined, stressing that the ministry would soon embark on house-to-house fumigation, adding that there was no cause for alarm.