Ondo State Government has said 106 cases of Lassa Fever and eight deaths have been recorded in the state this year.
Prof. Francis Faduyile, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, made the disclosure in Akure said the confirmed cases were in six local governments of Owo, Akure North, Akure South, Ose, Akoko South-West and Idanre.
He explained that the prevalent period of the disease was during the dry season and part of the rainy season when farmers were cultivating lands for farming.
“The farmers during this period will do a lot of bush burning and when they burn the bush, rats will move from their natural habitat to a place safer and a lot of them tends to come towards homes in that surrounding.
“The first way to prevent Lassa is to stop bush burning, and we have sensitised against this,” he said.
Faduyile advised people not to put their foods where rats can have access.
“We have observed that some of our cultural activities like spreading cassava on the road to dry are harmful because rats can come around eat out of the cassava and drop faeces or urine on it.
“Besides, we have observed that our level of hygiene, if it is not well improved, it can attract rats, because rats are scavengers and when there is uneaten food, that is not covered, they tend to come,” he said.
Faduyile noted that government has embarked on advocacy through the local governments and traditional rulers as well as other preventive means to stem the disease.
“Every year there is ‘deratification’, that is to kill all the rats, and we have started it this year which has been largely successful.
“Also, there have been a lot of advocacy to medical personnel for them to have high index of suspicion for any fever,” he said.