Nigeria: Medics, 17 Others Killed By Lassa Fever in Nigeria

A transmission electron micrograph of a number of Lassa virus virions adjacent to some cell debris. The virus, a member of the virus family Arenaviridae, causes Lassa fever.

fAt least 19 people, including two medical doctors and a health worker, have been reported killed by Lassa fever in Kano and Ondo states in Nigeria in January.

Another doctor is under care at an isolation centre in Yar gaya Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), in Kano, northwest Nigeria.

The Kano state government on Wednesday confirmed the deaths, saying the doctor had been quarantined.

Dr Steven Fagbemi, Ondo State Epidemiologist, confirmed that that lassa fever had so far killed 16 people in the state since the outbreak early January.

The Kano state Commissioner for health Dr Ibrahim Tsanyawa, said that blood samples of the patients at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), were sent to Abuja, with result confirming all the victims had Lassa fever.

"A pregnant woman, who had a caesarean session (CS) at AKTH in December, was said to be a carrier of the disease and had died," Dr Tsanyawa told reporters at an emergency Press conference on Wednesday.

"One of the doctors and a health worker that carried out the CS on the woman are among those that died on January 21, 2020 in Kano. The Consultant who took charge of the pregnant woman when she was moved to the Intensive Care Unit of AKTH has also died of the same symptoms," he added.

In order to control the situation, the commissioner said that the ministry of health had reactivated an isolation centre in the state and a Rapid Response Team to prevent further outbreak.

The state has so far recoded recorded 84 cases of the disease from January 1, according to Dr Fagbemi.

16 of the patients died because their cases had reached advanced stage before they were taken to hospital.

He also disclosed that 47 patients currently on admission were responding to treatment, while 21 persons had been treated and discharged.

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