The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lassa fever is caused by the Lassa virus, found in infected rats with many breasts (multimate rat) named Mastonys Matalensis.

Akadiri told NAN in Okitipupa that residents should also cultivate hygienic environment to safeguard spread of the Lassa virus.

The official said that no Lassa fever casualty had been recorded in the community and its environs, saying that the hospital had intensified awareness campaign on the disease.

"People should begin to eliminate rats in the community and every house in Nigeria, and to also imbibe clean environment, to guard against the spread of the disease.

Akadiri said that people should desist from eating leftover foods which were not properly covered, or spreading foods like cassava flour on the roadsides.

He urged residents who had malaria to go to the hospital for check-up, saying that general hospitals now have instruments to diagnose the disease.

The medical director said that the symptoms of Lassa fever include fever, sore throat, difficulty to swallow, bloody diarrhoea, cough, headache, abdominal pain and bleeding from the nose, mouth, ears and eyes.