by Dr. Noah O. Olaomo
It is usually awesome relishing a well sauced bush-meat most especially in the evening! The taste of various species of bush rats that are standing at attention after hours of painstaking roasting on the metal lattice in the village fireplace is always pleasant. It can be taken as a refreshment at eventide or be used to lubricate the downward passage of soaked garri to the bellies.
Bush rats including the now notorious LASSA FEVER spreading type are important sources of proteins to the rural dwellers. They can be caught by sheer athletic display; chasing them around in open fields till they are knocked down and prepared for consumption. There are those who have mastered the art after many years of practice, they strangulating these rats with bare hands. Traps of various architecture have also been designed to capture these tiny rodents.
The most exciting of these is the hunting expeditions we used to organize in those days. A typical hunting party may comprise of a leading skilled hunter and at least one other fellow. Rubber catapults are important weapons in these adventures. Young boys are the usual readymade hunters. However, the rats are angry, ‘Kill me make I die’ is their new found song. AND WITH LASSA AS THEIR POTENT WEAPON ONE CAN NOT BE TOO CAREFUL.
When hunted, the LASSA FEVER spreading rat can urinate and with each drop of its “unholy urine” myriads of deadly virus particles are released. The deadly rats have also taken the battle to our gates. With bush burning and the attendant habitat destruction in the dry season, they invade our houses, kitchen and other available spaces. They urinate and defecate on uncovered food and utensils. Thus, they brazenly attack us in our comfort zones.
LASSA FEVER is the expressed anger of the bush rats. The fear of them is the beginning of wisdom. To curb the deadly LASSA; do not hunt the rats. Do not roast them. Dried rats can no longer be a source of refreshment. Stop bush burning. Cover your foods and get rids of rats in the house. LASSA is here with us. THE RATS ARE VERY ANGRY.
Herein is a short video on LASSA Fever as reported by Channels Television
Dr Olaomo Noah Oluwafemi is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist with a love for writing. His desire is to enhance people’s lifestyle and effect positive change in their health through his writings