The Ondo State government has confirmed five cases of Lassa fever in two local government areas of the state.

Taye Oni, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, confirmed the development in Akure on Wednesday.

Dr. Oni said that the five cases were reported in Akoko Southwest and Owo LGAs.

He added that the state government has immediately reactivated the disease notification and surveillance mechanism in order to contain its spread.

"We have a 56-year-old male, a 47-year-old female and two other persons in Akoko Southwest," Dr. Oni said. "This is not the usual time it occurs in Ondo State. It usually occurs during the dry season and is limited to Owo and Ose.

"But the state government is doing its best to contain the recorded cases, as the patients have been isolated to prevent further spread of the disease.

"We have also embarked on aggressive contact tracing and sensitization of the people - not just in Owo and Ose areas, but across the state - on possible ways of prevention and precautions.

"We have always run to Irrua Specialists Hospital in Edo State, but the facility is now overwhelmed with so many cases across the country and that is why we are collaborating with the Federal Medical Centre in Owo," he explained.

SaharaReporters learned that the other case was reported at the Achievers University in Owo.

Tunji Ibiyemi, Vice Chancellor of the institution, confirmed to our correspondent that a student at the school was diagnosed with Lassa fever, but said the case was isolated.

Mr. Ibiyemi revealed that the female student contracted the sickness at the off-campus hostel and was being treated at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo.

"The authorities of the university have already declared a three-week break for the students to vacate the campus premises. When they return to the campus, they will have to present a certificate of medical fitness from a recognized government hospital,” he explained.

Mr. Ibiyemi noted that the university was also partnering with the FMC in Owo town and the state government in order to ensure that the community is safe.

SaharaReporters reported that the state government has also advised the residents to properly store their foods, mostly gains, and to be conscious of their environmental hygiene.

Lassa fever is spread by rats primarily in West Africa

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