Lassa Fever: Medical Expert Cautions Against Drinking Gari

The Director of Public Health, Enugu State, Dr. Boniface Okolo has cautioned Nigerians against the consumption of soaked gari to avoid contacting Lassa fever.

Okolo, who gave the warning in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Enugu, said the rats that caused the disease were mostly in contact with Nigerian most popular staple food ‘gari,’ a cassava product.

He added that it was necessary to discourage consumption of soaked gari since it did not require boiled water.

Okolo noted that boiled water could go a long way to kill bacteria caused by pests or rodents in gari.

Gari Soakings

“It is better than the cassava flakes called gari is used for ‘eba’, because of the use of hot water.“We in the state health ministry are waging total war against rodents through sensitization, that is what we are doing to ensure we do not have a victim of Lassa fever in the state.

“We are also sensitizing the public to ensure that their fruits and raw vegetables are properly washed if they must be consumed raw and cook to the appropriate temperature.“The best practices for food storage should be encouraged to prevent an epidemic.

”We should always make sure that we use air-tight clean plastic containers to preserve our foodstuff to avoid Lassa fever and other diseases,” he said.

Source: Boniface Okolo

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