An Environmentalist, Ms Gloria Bulus, on Wednesday identified some preventive measures over the spread of Lassa fever in the environment.
The expert spoke on the need to improve hygienic practices across the environment as well as being extremely cautious in preventing the spread of the disease.
She said that Lassa fever was known to be a viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted to humans through contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent or rat urine or faeces.
According to her, the disease can also be transmitted from human-to-human through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected persons.
”To prevent Lassa fever from spreading, we must promote good community hygiene first, by discouraging rodents from accessing our homes.
”Food items such as grains and other foodstuffs must be stored in containers that the rodents cannot have access to.
”Other effective measures are disposing of garbage far from the home and maintaining clean households.
”Family members should always be careful to avoid contact with blood or body fluids while caring for Lassa fever patients.
”We must always wash our hands frequently after coughing, sneezing or using tissues,” the expert told NAN.
Bulus further called for the strengthening of environmental sanitations policies as well as adequate sensitisation to help curb the spread of the disease.
”Cleaning of our surroundings is highly encouraged to remove rodents and items that rodents can inhabit as their home.
”Sensitisation and awareness creation is of great importance to help stop the spread of the disease.
”We also need to strengthen and equip all government owned health facilities to help in managing any outbreak of the disease.
”We must ensure that health workers are trained to manage any case of Lassa fever and at the same time protect themselves from contracting the disease. Medication must also be made available.
”Government should also strengthen laws on environmental sanitation and disposal of refuse and ensure the law is enforced,” Bulus said.
She called for joint community efforts in environmental sanitation to help tackle the spread of the disease.
She advised communities infested with rats to team up with their neighbours to check the areas that were mostly affected and put in place effective control measures.
According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control), to dispose rats, we must wear protective gloves and clothings.
”On no account should rats be burned or thrown out in the open. They and other animals should be disposed of far away from your homes,” she said.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Grace Yussuf
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