Lassa fever Outbreak: ‘Traders importing live rats from Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi’ – Benue Govt. 

The Benue State government has raised the alarm over the importation of live rats into the State, warning that individuals behind the trade are exposing its people to Lassa fever outbreak.  

The State Epidemiologist, Dr. Terungwa Ngishe expressed the worry while speaking at a one-day ‘Sensitisation Engagement on Anti-microbial Resistance’, (AMR), and the need for behavioural change, organised in Makurdi by the Benue State office of ‘One Health’.  

Dr. Ngishe pointed out that people importing rats into Benue were taking advantage of the fact that “rat is a delicacy in the State. According to him, “Rats are not eaten in some other parts of the northern States. So, the rats are freely caught and brought into Benue, thereby exposing the people to the outbreak of Lassa fever.

“This is especially so, since the traders would not be able to differentiate the species of rats that carry the virus. People bring the live rats in sacks. And it will surprise you to know that these rats are coming from other States like Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi and others into Benue”.

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