Campaign for the Eradication of Rats in Nigeria (CERN), Sellers of rat poisons and traps along traffic jam and markets in the FCT have reported a rise in sales following the outbreak of Lassa Fever in 10 states.
A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Abuja, showed that residents of the FCT had continued to buy either the rat poisons or other traps.
At Garki, Utako and Wuse Markets, rat poison sellers were seen brandishing their products and winning the attention of eager customers, who before the Lassa outbreak never paid attention to the products.
Malam Usman Abdullahi, a rat poison seller in the Garki market, told NAN he had recorded enormous sales in the past two weeks since the outbreak was recorded.
The demand rose immediately one person was reported killed by the fever in Abuja.
People now patronise us; the most expensive rat poisons that go for N600 is now sold for N700, but people still buy without complaining,” he said.
Most of the times, customers ask for the strongest poison that will kill the rats instantly; the poison that kills and dries up the rats are really in demand.
Although the Lassa disease is a bad thing, for us it is good business since we are making our profit,” he said.
At another traffic points, hawkers included those selling rat poison products to customers in the vehicles.
Mrs Patricia Eloma , a housewife, said that people are now paying attention to the elimination of rodents around their houses since they had become a serious threat.
There are some very `stubborn’ rats that have refused to die, no matter what is thrown at them; rats are becoming intelligent and seem to be ahead of all the tricks.
They are accustomed to normal poisons, so we have to devise other ways or seek stronger chemicals to kill them.
Some jump over traps or ignored the poisoned, so we are utilising any new product out there to terminate them,’’ she said.
She, however, noted that clean environments, professional fumigation and consciousness to close doors, would drive rodents away.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Thursday confirmed that a man had died as a result of Lassa fever at the National Hospital, Abuja.
The patient, who had travelled from Jos to Abuja, was reported to have been brought in unconscious from a private hospital in Kubwa and died within 24 hours of reaching the National Hospital.
This incident has increased the number of deaths recorded since the recent outbreak of the disease in August 2015 to 43.
Lassa fever or Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus, first discovered in 1969 in Lassa town, Borno.
The primary host of the Lassa virus is the natal multimammate mouse (with multiple breasts and long tail (mastomys natalensis), found in most of sub-Saharan Africa.
The virus is transmitted via contact with the faeces or urine of the mouse accessing grain stores and residences.
Symptoms of Lassa fever include high fever, nausea, stooling, tiredness, cough, stomach pain, constipation, bloody vomiting and diarrhoea.