Lassa Fever Breaks Out Again In Nigeria, Kills 5 Persons Inluding A Doctor

JOS—Plateau State has recorded 17 confirmed cases of Lassa Fever with five persons dead, according to Dr. Kunden Deyin, the state’s Commissioner for Health.

Deyin disclosed, yesterday in Jos, that 33 cases were taken to the laboratory for confirmation, where 17 were confirmed to be cases of Lassa Fever. According to him, 13 persons on admission are responding to treatment, while others have been discharged. He, however, could not ascertain the number of persons discharged. The commissioner said 73 persons, who had primary and secondary contacts with the patients, were being monitored. His words: “The 73 persons are currently being monitored. We shall do that for 21 days because the incubation period is from six to 21 days. “After 21 days, those not affected by the disease will be discharged from the contact tracing list and certified free of Lassa Fever.”

He advised people with headache, body pain and general feeling of being unwell, to promptly report for checks, noting that prompt checks were key to reducing the mortality rate associated with the disease. Deyin regretted that patients usually report to the hospital when it was too late, and called on health workers to quickly make referrals to higher health facilities, when they can’t handle cases presented to them. He advised people to keep their environments clean to ward off rodents, while grain stores should be sealed. …FETHA Meanwhile, the Management of Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, FETHA, weekend, donated one million Naira to 10 families of its deceased staff, who died as a result of their clinical effort to treat patients diagnosed with Lassa fever between 2005 and 2018, with N100,000 getting to each family.

The distribution of the cash took place during the official handing over ceremony of the Observation Bay donated to FETHA by medecins sans frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in the state. In his remarks, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, who stated that his administration would continue to give priority attention to the wellbeing of Ebonyi people, added that early detection of Lassa fever was the key towards preventing deaths associated with the disease. Represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike, the governor appreciated FETHA for its collaborative efforts towards the prevention and elimination of Lassa fever from the state.

Also, the Chief Medical Director, CMD, Dr. Onwe Ogah, called on the staff of FETHA not to be deterred by the ugly episodes that befell the institution between 2005 and 2018, and assured members of the public of the determination and dedication of FETHA towards meeting the health needs of Ebonyi people.

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