Lassa Fever Claims 15 Lives in Ondo


By James Sowole in Akure

No fewer than 15 person have died of Lassa Fever in Ondo State between January and February 2019, while no fewer than 102 had been confirmed to be positive of the desease within the same period.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Wale Oke, disclosed the figure to journalists in an interview.

He said that 82 cases were confirmed in January, while 20 persons were confirmed in February.

Oke however said no death was recorded in February.

“Most people that died either reported late or were already subjected to alternative treatment and doing self medication before they eventually came to hospital.

“Their kidneys and livers had been affected as a result of the delay,” he stated.

The medical practitioner, who works at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, urged residents of the state to report early to the medical centre if they experienced upsurge of temperature in their bodies.

He said Owo, Ose, Akoko North, Akure South and Akure North are the local government areas of the state where the cases were recorded.

“We have contact tracing mechanism whereby we can place on survellance for 21 days those that may have contact with infected person.

“We continue to monitor their temperature, if it is above 37.8 and give them quick treatment, ” he said.

According to him, the centre has the highest success rate out of the three treatment centres in Nigeria for Lassa Fever cases treatment, giving kudos to its management team.

He added that the state government had put in place measures to curtail the fever and that the government had declared state of emergency in the health sector.

Oke explained that Ondo NMA alongside Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and others had engaged in series of sensitisation exercises for the people of the state.

He explained that the exercise is aimed at preventing further cases in the state.

According to him, “Since the outbreak of Lassa fever, we have been moving round all the health facilities to sensitise our people on the need to maintain universal caution and also to be vigilant about Lassa fever.

“So far, we have been to almost all the local government areas in the state. We rounded off with Akoko last Wednesday.

“NMA is concerned with the infection, prevention and control of the many pillars involved in the management of Lassa fever hence the basis for the sensitisation.”