Kano Confirms Outbreak of Lassa Fever, Places 292 on Watch List

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Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Kano State Government has confirmed the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state which has so far claimed the lives of three persons comprising two doctors and the patient believed to be the first victim.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, told journalists yesterday during a press conference that the ministry currently has a total of 292 persons who had contact with the said victims on its watch list which would help to quickly quarantine anyone who shows any symptoms of the disease to avoid further spread.

He said the first case was a 28-year-old pregnant woman from Gwale LGA who fell ill two weeks after the death of her mother, and was referred to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital from a private hospital, but also passed away on January 1, 2020.

The commissioner said: “Following the report of the outbreak and confirmation of samples, the state government swung into action so as to expeditiously curtail the spread of the viral disease, and consequently, the state isolation centre at Gaya has been activated.”

He added: “Other measure taken included the activation of rapid response team, prepositioning of drugs and other consumables, contact tracing as well as daily coordination meeting at the state emergency operation centre among other.”

Tsanyawa urged the public to disregard any allegation or rumors on the issue and ensure proper hand hygiene, as well as strengthen their environmental sanitation and avoid contact with wild animals and rodents.

Other safety measures, according to him, are that the people should avoid poorly cooked meat, avoid contact with suspected or confirmed cases or items soiled by them, as he urged the public to report any suspected case to the nearest health facility.

The commissioner further reiterated the state government readiness to partner all persons and organisations in its determination to provide quality healthcare service for the people of the state.

However, the National President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Francis Faduyi, has also confirmed that two of their members have died and another one has been hospitalised in Kano.

Francis told journalists in Kano yesterday that “we came here to commiserate with the people of Kano and AKTH over this incident. We are very happy with the quick response of the state government.”

According to him, the outbreak will be curtailed shortly, and that the people should not be panicked because the situation is under control.