As Lassa fever spreads across Nigeria, a medical doctor has warned against drinking garri in cold water.
The Director of Public Health, Enugu State, Dr Boniface Okolo, has cautioned Nigerians against the consumption of garri soaked in cold water 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 the most popular staple food ‘garri,’ a cassava product.
He added that it was necessary to discourage the consumption of soaked garri since it did not require boiled water. Okolo noted that boiled water could go a long way to kill bacteria caused by pest or rodents in garri.
“It is better that the cassava flakes called garri is used for ‘eba’, because of the use of hot water,” he said.
“We are also sensitising the public to ensure that their fruits and raw vegetables are properly washed if they must be consumed raw and cooked to the appropriate temperature.
“The best practices for food storage should be encouraged to prevent 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.
The warning goes to people living abroad too as the garri sold to them might have been contaminated.