Family Quarantined after Lassa Fever Kills Three Persons in Benue


George Okoh in Makurdi

The Benue State Government Ministry of Health has quarantined an entire family in Adoka, Otukpo Local Government, Benue State, over the outbreak of Lassa fever and the death of a family member.

The State Commissioner for Health, Mrs. Cecilia Ojabo, who confirmed that two pregnant women and a man died in Makurdi of Lassa fever, said the ministry is putting the family under close monitoring so as to ensure that the fever does not spread to others.

She said one of the pregnant women was confirmed positive when her blood sample was sent to a specialist hospital in Irua in Edo State. She said the other patient commenced treatment for Lassa fever at the designated centre located at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi but died in the process.

“There was another instance of a young man, an indigene of Benue State who had Lassa fever and died in Lagos State. We were duly informed about his death and the corpse was thereafter transmitted back to Benue State for burial,” she said.

Ojabo also disclosed that a patient from the Guma Local Government Area of the state manifested late symptoms of Lassa fever when he started bleeding from the nose, ears and mouth.

According to her, the victim was admitted to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital but before doctors could obtain his blood sample for the test at Irua, he died.

She confirmed that a second pregnant woman died “this afternoon after showing symptoms of the disease. Last week l got a report from the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi that another suspected case of Lassa fever was recorded and they were advised to take the patient to the infection unit in the teaching hospital but on their way to the hospital, the patient died with her pregnancy.”

She said some persons close to the victims had also been placed under close monitoring.