38 persons killed by Lassa fever in 11 states

Lassa fever
Lassa fever

The death toll in the Lassa Fever outbreak across the country hits 38 last night as more cases were breaking out.

The cases in Edo, Borno and Enugu where deaths were announced, took the number of affected states to 11.

The other states battling the fever are: Ondo, Ebonyi, Taraba, Plateau, Kano, Delta, Bauchi and Ogun as announced by the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC).

But the Ogun State government has denied the outbreak of the fever in its territory.

Chief Press Secretary to Edo State Deputy Governor, Musa Ebomhiana, said: “A total of 175 cases of Lassa Fever have been recorded in the state with eight persons dead since the current outbreak of the epidemic.

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“This is the highest the state has recorded in the history since the first outbreak in the state.

“An ambulance has been dedicated strictly for the use of Lassa Fever cases in the state to help facilitate the curbing of the disease.

“The affected LGAs are Esan West, Esan Central, Esan North East, Esan South East, Igueben and Etsako West.”

In Enugu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Ifeanyi Agujiobi Inna, confirmed the death of a 75-year-old woman. The medical doctor who attended to her is hospitalised.

Inna said in a statement that the case of the woman was presented to the state University Teaching Hospital, (ESUTH), Parklane about 10 days ago with some symptoms akin to malaria.

Inna said: “She didn’t visit any neighboring state where such case exists. However, three days ago, she started vomiting blood and the high index of suspicion came.

“Sample was taken to a Virology centre at Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and it was confirmed to be positive of Lassa Fever. Unfortunately, the patient died on Thursday.

“Arrangement is being made to bury safely the corpse immediately because of the public health implications.

“The State Ministry of Health Public Head Department with the ESUTH Parklane management has stepped up action to decontaminate all sections of the hospital that the patient was managed including the ICU unit.

“Contact tracing is ongoing and there will be sensitization of all health care workers at the ESUTH Parklane so that any health worker that perhaps came in contact with the deceased will be monitored and some possibly placed on prophylactic Ribavarine therapy.

“We advise all persons to observe universal health precautions especially washing of hands with soaps at all times, avoid eating rats or the likes as well as avoiding drinking raw garri because of the vector that transmit the disease – specie of rat.”

He added: “We have started working with the public health department of the state’s ministry of health and the ESUTH management. We will be sensitizing all health care workers at the ESUTH, Parklane.

“Contact tracing is ongoing at the moment so any health worker that perhaps came in contact with the deceased, he or she should report to the management for monitoring and possible placement on prophylactic Ribavarine therapy which the state government has provided.”

The Nation gathered that workers deserted the hospital following speculations that doctor that attended to the woman had taken ill.

The Commissioner of Health in Borno State, Salihu Bura, who confirmed the death of a 24-year-old man at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, said the state had recorded three suspected cases .

He told reporters at a news conference on Thursday that the outbreak was at Bolori, a settlement within Maiduguri metropolis.

According to him, the three suspected cases are being quarantined at a designated center at Jajeri within Maiduguri.

The NCDC through its report revealed that Lassa fever advisory/alert letters have been sent to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory while Emergency Operations Centres have been activated in Ondo and Ebonyi States with the NCDC Rapid Response Team deployed in them.

Response commodities like PPEs, Ribavirin (injection and tablets), beds, tents, body-bags, thermometers, hypochlorite hand sanitizers, IEC materials, guidelines and SOPS have also been distributed to the states and the FCT.

The NCDC said its Lassa fever Technical Working Group had continued to coordinate the response activities at the national level with on/off-site collaboration of MDAs (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Ministry of Environment) and partners.

The disease control centre also disclosed that confirmed cases of Lassa fever are treated at identified treatment centres across the states with Ribavirin and necessary supportive management also instituted.

There is also an enhanced surveillance (contact tracing and active case finding) in affected states, with intensity in monitoring the outbreak, said the centre. The number of suspected cases has increased but is lower than the numbers reported in 2019.

Many states have commenced preventive efforts to stop the spread of the fever to their territories. Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara and Anambra have announced measures.

Oyo partners UCH, NMA

The Oyo State Government said on Thursday it was working in synergy with the University College Hospital in Ibadan and the Nigeria Medical Association for “curative measures in the event of any reported case.”

It added that had put medical officials specifically across the 33 LGAs and its 35 development authorities on the alert

Ekiti creates Special Centre

The state government has established a special centre where suspected victims of the killer virus would be treated.

Ebonyi restates commitment to protect citizens

The Ebonyi State Government said it would continue to take proactive and preventive measures to protect residents against Lassa Fever

It called on the Federal Government (FG) and the CDC to provide financial interventions to the communities and homes that had been affected by the disease in the state.

Kwara orders health workers training

The state government on Thursday ordered the training of health workers on the prevention of Lassa-Fever epidemic.

It also directed the rapid response team of the state Ministry of Health to embark on aggressive public enlightenment.

“Anambra on red alert The state government said it had adopted proactive measures to guide against the spread of the disease.

The Commissioner for Health, Vincent Okpala, explained that the measures became necessary following the outbreak of the disease in some parts of the country.

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