LAGOS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- At least 81 people have been placed under surveillance for coming into contact with a victim of Lassa Fever in the restive Adamawa state in northeast Nigeria.
The victim who is now dead came into the state to meet his family from the neighboring Taraba State, Abubakar Mohammed, a spokesperson with the state ministry of health said in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state.
Mohammed said the victim was taken by his family members to a private hospital in Yola from where he was referred to Yola Federal Medical Center (FMC).
According to him, the victim passed away at the FMC where he was diagnosed of Lassa fever.
"All those that came into contact with him- about 81 of them comprising his family members and staff of the private clinic he was first taken to are now under observation by the emergency operation center set up by government to contain the epidemic," he added.
The spokesperson told Xinhua that they would be under observation for the next 21 days.
Mohammed urged members of the public to be on the alert and report any case of high fever to the nearest health center.
Humans usually become infected with the Lassa virus from exposure to urine or feces of infected multimammate rats.
Other than common preventive measures such as washing hands regularly, the World Health Organization has also recommended keeping cats.
West African countries including Ghana, Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone also reported cases of Lassa fever recently.