Lassa fever: fumigators and pest control hawkers make brisk business

The outbreak of Lassa fever has opened new vistas of business opportunities for fumigators, hawkers and other pest control providers in the country. Indeed, calls by experts and government officials urging Nigerians to take precautionary measures to ensure that rats, the major host of the Lassa virus, do not enter their homes, are gaining momentum and acceptance.

As Lassa fever continues to spread across the country, many rat poison sellers are now making brisk business from the unfortunate development as the prices of the substances used in killing rats have gone high.

A rat poison dealer in Nnewi, Mr Nwaneri Okechukwu, while responding to an inquiry from The AUTHORITY  said he was not aware of the outbreak of Lassa fever in some parts of the country but only noticed a tremendous increase in the level of patronage from the people.

“I used to trek round the town with the rat poisons that I sell and people always treat me as if I was a mad person. Those that eventually patronised me normally hide to do so with the aim of not wanting people to know that they were patronising me, but now it’s a different case”, he said.

He, however, pointed out that since he came back to business after the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the at­titude of people toward him have changed as the customers now look for him in his stall.

He also said that the prices of the poisonous substance have equally gone up because the people he was getting supply from have reviewed their prices upward pointing out that the smaller substance that was sold for fifty naira before is now one hundred naira and the jumbo size has moved from one hundred naira to two hundred naira.

A house wife, Mrs Blessing Nnoli, who was seen buying large quantities of the poison substance said her household has declared total war on rats. She said the only way to get rid of them is to use the poison which she noted is very effective.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Dr Uju Nwogu, has urged the people of the state to report any suspected case of Lassa fever to the nearest hospital.

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