Lassa Fever Kills Three in Delta

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By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye, has disclosed that three persons have died from Lassa fever since the latest outbreak of the disease was first reported in the state on January 26, 2018.

Ononye however said two out of the three fatal cases of the disease were brought to the hospital in Asaba from the neighboring Anambra State.

The health commissioner further revealed that Delta State has recorded seven confirmed cases while 24 persons have been placed under medical surveillance.

Some of the cases were referred from Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba  to Institute of Lassa Fever in Irrua, Edo State, he said, adding that the first patient had been treated and discharged.

While noting that active case search and contact tracing was ongoing, the commissioner advised members of the public not to panic but to report any suspected cases to the appropriate health authorities.

“As an immediate response to the outbreak, the Ministry of Health, through its rapid response team, has been coordinating the state response to contain the spread of the disease, just as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abuja, has been contacted and presently collaborating with the state in this regard,” he said.

Ononye stated that the ministry  in collaboration with the state Primary Health Development Agency, was “creating awareness through the various mass media so that the public can refresh their memories on how the disease is transmitted and therefore take preventive measures to forestall its spread.”

He revealed that “some Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) were earlier procured and distributed to health facilities across the state, including the FMC, Asaba, in addition to the sensitisation of health workers in the state to have a high index of suspicion and take preventive measures when managing infectious cases.”

He noted that the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, “has provided all the support to the ministry to  enable them curtail the  spread of disease in the state”, saying members of the public could report any suspected case to the nearest health facility or through telephone number 07037120510 or 08168741415.