The Benue State government has raised the alarm over the importation of live rats into the state.
The government warned that individuals behind the trade are exposing the people of the state to Lassa fever outbreak.
The State Epidemiologist, Dr. Terungwa Ngishe expressed the worry while speaking at a one-day Sensitisation Engagement on Antimicrobial Resistance, AMR, and the need for behavioral change. It was organised in Makurdi by the Benue State office of One Health.
Dr. Ngishe pointed out that people importing rats into the state were taking advantage of the fact that “rat is a delicacy in the state.
“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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