Lassa Fever: Handle Garri With Great Care

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The name of the rat that harbours the virus that causes Lassa fever is called Multimammate rat (because it has many nipples like all these local street dogs after delivery). While the botanical name is Mastomys Natalensis.

Because there is an upsurge of the disease in many states of the (Nigerian) Federation, it is pertinent that we follow these rules.

  • Practice good hand washing hygiene.
  • All apple lovers should wash them with salt and warm water before refrigerating them to eat.
  • People ought to also avoid testing of dry Garri by chewing them for starch in the market.
  • Also, Garri ‘soakers‘ should refrain from soaking Garri for consumption for now.

The problem is, most of our Garri sellers in the market purchase their Garri from bush markets, which are often fried half dry and are subsequently dried on polythene sheets on the tarred roads or compounds in the villages. These rats dive in at will, to feed their hungry bellies and in the process defecate and urinate on the Garri. If used for Eba, the virus may die because of the hot water used. Nevertheless, if soaked, the virus is likewise directly ushered in.

Be cautioned: do not joke with this precaution, except you process your cassava yourself. Be safe.

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