Lassa Fever is ravaging #Nigeria, these guidelines will help:
Below are 10 sure ways to avoid contracting the Lassa Fever virus:
1. Don’t taste or smoke garri.
The problem is that most of the garri come from rural areas, where the garri is fried and spread on polythene sheets / mats on the tarred roads or compounds. Rats go in at will, to feed their hungry bellies and in the process defecate and urinate on the garri (Most times one sees rat dungs on garri). If used for Eba, the virus may die because of the hot water used. But if soaked and smoked, the virus is directly ushered in. Same goes for women who always taste garri by chewing them to estimate the starch content.
2. Don’t open can drinks without washing it thoroughly with water. When open try not to drink from the can. Use a glass or straw. Also Don’t open tin tomatoes, sardines and other canned foods without washing thoroughly. This is because these products are stored in stores and warehouses where rats jump around in search of food.
3. Avoid tasting dried fish / meat until they are thoroughly washed with warm water and salt
4. Don’t use plates and cutlery that are kept in cupboards without washing and rinsing with water
5. Always wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly with warm water (and salt) before consuming or storing in the refrigerator. Apples, Carrots, Cucumber Tomatoes, etc are very usually spread on the floors of shops and stores
6. Always practice hand washing with disinfectants as many times as possible daily
7. Wash floors and kitchen with antibacterial detergent.
8. Boost your immune system; Eat good, live right and when you feel physically drained, take ORS solution.
9. Maintain thorough cleanliness of your environment; clear all bushes, clear garbage, burn your refuse if you can and be mindful of food particles that could attract rodents.
10. Wear hand-gloves, coverall and high knee boot when disposing your waste, cutting grass or doing any outdoor activity.
11. Protect your household and environment from rodents infestation by carrying out fumigation of both internal and external environment.
Since there is yet no known cure for Lassa Fever, let us try and observe the hygiene as well as spread the message to our homes, worship centers and social groups.