Severe outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria. PICTURE:
Severe outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria. PICTURE:

Traders at Nigeria market eliminate rats to fight spread of Lassa fever

By ANA reporter Time of article published Feb 26, 2020

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PRETORIA  -Traders at Nigeria's Binukonu market in Ojota, Lagos, say regular sanitation has eliminated rodents in the area, helping prevent the spread of Lassa fever, the Vanguard daily newspaper said, citing news agency NAN.

The latest report from the West African country's Centre for Disease Control showed the death toll from the current outbreak of the disease had risen to 103 out of 586 confirmed cases, a fatality rate of 17.6 percent.

"I can state boldly that we don't have any form of rodents inside the market, due to the cleanliness of the market and daily clearance of our drainages," Babaloja market leader Akinola Balogun told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), as reported by Vanguard.

"We always carry out daily inspections to maintain the standard of the market and we intend to keep it that way."

Balogun said one of the major challenges facing the market was the deplorable state of the road leading to it and appealed to the local government to fumigate the trading place quarterly.

Confirmed Lassa fever cases by states in Nigeria in the first seven weeks of 2020. SOURCE: Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The Centre for Disease Control says the predominant age group affected by Lassa fever has been the 21-30 years range.

The number of suspected cases, currently at 2,176, has significantly increased compared with the 1,157 reported for the same period in 2019.

According to the World Health Organisation, Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness caused by Lassa virus, a member of the arenavirus family of viruses.

Humans usually become infected with Lassa virus through exposure to food or household items contaminated with the urine or faeces of infected Mastomys rats.

- African News Agency (ANA)

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