Stop Eating Rats! – Minister Advises Nigerians

Written by on January 28, 2020

During a press briefing on the ongoing Lassa Fever outbreak in the country on Monday in Abuja,
Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister of Environment, advised Nigerians against eating rats for now as 29 deaths cases have been recorded due to Lassa Fever outbreak in the country.

“The ministry is making efforts in collaboration with NCDC and other stakeholders in tackling the lassa fever scourge. Lassa fever is endemic in Nigeria and often associated with poor sanitary hygiene practices with cases being recorded all year round. The virus is transmitted by rodents (rats) which can be found in our environment including homes, motor parks, offices and places of worship. This contributes largely to the risk of spread that occurs in Nigeria and other countries with similar ecological factors.”

He also advised citizens to imbibe good sanitation and hygiene practices and take preventive and control measures that include keeping the environment clean to avoid contact with rodents. “Keeping food away from rodents, storing grains and other food stuff in rodent proof containers, disposing wastes regularly, far away from homes and cooking all foods thoroughly. “Blocking rat hide outs to avoid/stop eating rats as much as possible, washing hands regularly with soap and running water.

According to him, early symptoms are fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, sore throat among others. It is in very severe cases that the patient bleeds from body openings; maturity period of Lassa fever ranges from six to 21 days.

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