18 February 2019

Nigeria: Lassa Fever - Ebonyi Records Three Deaths, Treats 14 Patients

Photo: Nigeria Health Watch
Lassa fever public health advisory.

The virology centre at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) has treated and discharged 14 Lassa fever patients so far this year.

The state Commissioner for Health, Daniel Umezuruike, stated this at a public health advisory workshop organised by his ministry in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the Ebonyi State capital.

Mr Umezuruike said 19 cases of the disease have been confirmed and three deaths recorded among the cases admitted at the centre.

According to him, the disease was diagnosed in eight out of the 13 local government areas of the state. The affected areas are Abakaliki, Ezza South, Ezza North, Ohaozara, Ebonyi, Izz, Afikpo North and Ikwo LGAs.

Mr Umezuruike said the symptoms of the virus to include high grade fever, body pains, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain(sub sternal), unconsciousness, among others.

"Recent genomic sequencing of the Lassa Fever virus in Nigeria shows rodent to human transmission is still the main source of infection, therefore environmental sanitation especially rodent control is critical to curtail the spread.

"Since the current outbreak, the state has intensified its response through enhanced surveillance, contact tracing and active case in all LGAs by the epidemiology team.

"Risk communication and sensitisation have also been ongoing in all LGAs to increase awareness and promote positive behavioural practices to prevent further spread of the disease."

The commissioner said that a response team from the NCDC and another team from Medicines San Frontiers are currently working with the state team to strengthen the response", he said.

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