The much dreaded viral disease, Lassa fever has staged a comeback as emerging reports have it that the virus hit Anambra state, killing a medical doctor and three others.
Recall that the disease which spread from remote areas in a few states to more than half of Nigeria’s 36 states, killed no fewer than 63 people.
Some of the states that were affected in the initial outbreak includes; Niger, Bauchi, Kano, Taraba, Rivers, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Lagos, Plateau, Gombe, Delta, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Kogi and Zamfara, and the Federal Capital Territory.
Anambra, which was not among the affected states, has however recorded a resurgence of the disease which is caused by Lassa virus, and transmitted to humans from contact with food or household items contaminated with the excreta or urine of infected rats.
Dr Jane Ezeonu, a resource person at a one-day Lassa fever training workshop organized by the state Ministry of Health while disclosing the incidence, said that the medical doctor died at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, on Tuesday.
Also speaking at the workshop, the Director of Public Health, Dr Emmanuel Okafor, revealed that the state recently recorded the death of three other persons.
Ezeonu said the late doctor was referred to NAUTH from Asaba, Delta state. She warned the people of the state to stop drinking raw garri, adding that they should protect their food and related items from rats.
She explained that people don’t acquire immunity after suffering from Lassa fever, as believed in some quarters, adding that general hygiene was important in Lassa fever prevention.