The Director, Disease Surveillance, Etsako West Local Government Area, Edo, Nefisat Ikerodah, said on Monday that 12 people died of Lassa fever in the area between January and March.
Mrs Ikerodah who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Auchi, headquarters of the local government area, said 871 cases of the disease were recorded during the period.
According to the director, many of the patients have been treated and discharged while some are still receiving medical attention at the Irrua Specialist Hospital.
“A total of 871 persons were diagnosed with Lassa fever between January and March in the local government; 12 deaths have so far been recorded.
“Edo State has the highest number of persons infected with the disease with Etsako West identified as the worst hit,” she said.
Mrs Ikerodah said that Jattu, Afashio and Ikabigbo communities in Uzairue clan had the highest number of victims.
She said that the council had stepped up a campaign for environmental cleanness to stop a further outbreak of the disease.
“We are teaching our people to exude clean environmental culture, ensure vigilance and avoid contacts with rats.
“The council has declared a state of emergency on Lassa fever epidemic, following the number of persons that have already contracted it,” she said.
Mrs Ikerodah said the council authorities would continue to take steps towards stopping the spread of the disease through its surveillance scheme.
“Our surveillance officers are doing very well in enlightening the people on the dangers of Lassa fever and other related diseases,” she said.
Lassa fever, also known as Lassa haemorrhagic fever (LHF), is a type of viral haemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus.
The virus is commonly transmitted by rats with symptoms such as fever, weakness, headaches, vomiting, muscle pains, bleeding and multi-organ involvement. (NAN)