Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lassa Fever in FCT?

I received the following email yesterday on an outbreak of Lassa Fever, backing up a story that appeared in This Day last week. Its bizarre that it hasn't been more widely publicised:

The Federal Capital Territory Administration has announced that there is currently an out break of the deadly Lassa Fever within the FCT and neighbouring Nassarrawa state.

The disease has already claimed 8 lives in 3 weeks and over 93 cases have been confirmed. Lassa Fever is a very deadly disease that can spread quickly within a short period of time. It initially has malaria type symptoms and so is easily mistaken for malaria and under treated early. It is, however, very critical to catch it in the very early stages. This is a highly contagious disease that is transmitted traditionally by rat urine/feces contamination of food, drink and household items/goods. It is also transmitted via body fluids and appears to be air borne in the current form in Abuja.

Symptoms include fever, general fatigue and weakness, headache, sore throat, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoe, cough, abdominal pain, and red spots. In advanced/severe cases it may lead to swollen face, bleeding from orifices (eyes, mouth, nose, genitalia),low blood
pressure, etc.

The good news is that the necessary steps to curb the growing epidemic are being taken by the FCT Health & Human Services Secretariat, the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. So there is no need to panic.

Wash all foods, cook all meats thoroughly, store all drink in sealed containers, keep your house and surroundings as free from anything that will attract and/or harbour rats.

As soon as you suspect Lassa Fever, or you have persistent fever that does not respond to standard malaria treatment report to the nearest FCT Health Centre.

The FCTA is setting up an emergency quarantine facility. You may reach the FCT Health & Human Service Secretariat at 09-3141098 or 08033138538 (Mr. Moses Okoro).


TBR 1:04 pm  

Don't know much about it but I know Lassa Fever is deadly. There is still some confusion when things are unclear. Hopefully things would soon become clear and we can all be safe.

BTW, great blog. Love the new look. Please keep up the good work and don't let the bad people get you down. You are doing just fine.

Waffarian 2:00 pm  

Rat poison! Rat poison! I get good rat poison! super rat poison! e dey kill all the rats dem, even the ones wey dey hide inside wall, im go catch am, just one nylon bag, and ur house go free of rats dem! Rat poison! Rat poison! buy one, get one free!

Sales at waffywaffarian@yahoo.com

No miss this special bonanza oh!

Follow who no road make u no go follow inside hole oh!


TBR 2:09 pm  

Indeed, the truth is out now...I see.

It was not that difficult afterall.

I said it...
Anger is a terrible thing, tut tut!

I hope it is all clear to you.

Lost at The End 5:33 pm  

Waffy, good thinking. Just imagine how itinerant sales guys in Abuja, if there are any there, would be having a blast selling all sorts of stuff.

On a more serious note, I'm pretty pumped that the government is doing something about it.

For all those out there, make una suffree o.

Anonymous,  12:02 pm  

Heading for the FCT Health Centre is like heading for the best place to be infected with Lassa or something else. Do they have power? Are there any medicines? Who are the medics there? If you think you have Lassa fever, get out of the country fast that's what the wealthy Nigerians do anyway. It is indeed a sin to be poor in Nigeria!!!

Abuja 12:09 pm  

I can't back this up with evidence, but isn't there a track record of covering up outbreaks? Wasn't there a TB epidemic in northern Nigeria a few years ago that was denied? I don't like to rumour-monger, so I'll ask my pal Doctor Felicity for her recollection.

CodLiverOil 10:51 pm  

Hygiene is not taken seriously by people there, especially those who should know better ie the authorities.

Food hygiene and environmental hygiene are paramount and not an after thought. It affects your health and your life.

People can make light of this, but it shows that some sort of government initiative is required nationwide to tackle this problem. Once established it should be maintained. (They'd rather spend the money on hosting some pointless conferences in Abuja, that looks more prestigious).

This is a basic need of society which in the 21 century is still stalking the nation.

People raise your game, face the challenge.

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