An Ondo State epidemiologist, Dr Steven Fagbemi, said on Tuesday that lassa fever has so far claimed at least 16 lives in the state since its outbreak early January.
Mr Fagbemi said this in Akure during a meeting between Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and major stakeholders, including the local government chairmen in Ondo North and Ondo Central Senatorial Districts on how to contain the spread of the disease in the state.
He said the state had recorded 84 cases of the disease from January 1 to date.
According to him, 16 of the patients died because their cases had reached advanced stage before they were taken to hospital.
He also disclosed that 47 patients currently on admission were responding to treatment, while 21 persons had been treated and discharged.
The governor, therefore, directed local government chairmen in the two senatorial districts to ensure clean environment in their areas in order to check the spread of the dreaded disease.
He charged them to ensure that markets and their surroundings in the area were kept clean to forestall an epidemic of the scourge.
The governor also advised the chairmen to deploy street sweepers to market places, while urging residents to wash their hands regularly to avert the spread of the disease.
He further advised that cases of persistent fever should be taken to hospital, while the chairmen should embark on massive evacuation of dumping sites.
Also, Dr Yahaya Disu, a representative of Nigeria Center for Disease Control, said that the disease was recorded in Owo, Akoko South West, Akure South, and Ondo West Local Government Areas.
He called for proper refuse disposal in local government areas, adding that transportation should be provided for effective sensitisation at the grassroots.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the Chairman Ifedore Local Government Area, Alex Oladimeji, said they were ready to give their support to “ensure that lassa fever becomes a thing of the past.
“We have itemised what we need to do and we will do so in order to put a stop to the spread of lassa fever in our domain.
“We will clear waste in our markets, sensitise the people through radio and use motorcycles to get to the grassroots,” Mr Oladimeji said.