5 new cases of Lassa fever reported in Plateau state, 55 under quarantine in Osun

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5 new cases of Lassa fever reported in Plateau state, 55 under quarantine in Osun

The Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kuden Kamshak, has said that five cases of Lassa fever have been detected in Jos, the state capital.

He said that the patients were responding to treatment.

Kamshak said, “So far, we have only five cases and they are responding to treatment. We have advised doctors not to keep patients for so long in the hospital to avoid contact and spread.”

The commissioner, who spoke in Jos on Thursday, said that Plateau State had been identified as one of the hotbed of the ailment due to its proximity to most of the Lassa fever endemic states, hence, the need for citizens to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

He added that health officers had been sent to rural communities to sensitise them on the dangers of the disease and the symptoms to look out for

Following the death of a resident doctor at the Maxilofacial Surgery Department at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile Ife, the Osun State government has also placed 55 persons under surveillance.

The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Health, Dr. Temitope Oladele, while briefing journalists in his office on Thursday said that the state had created emergency centres to ensure that the disease was contained.

Oladele said the preliminary report of the test carried out on the blood sample of the doctor “came back as compatible with Lassa virus.”

He, however, said the confirmatory test could not be done following his death but he added that the state had gone ahead to prepare to contain the virus.

Oladele said no other case had been found anywhere in the state apart from this index case which according to him was imported from a neighbouring state he declined to mention.

He said, “We have traced 55 persons who he had contact with before his death and we have placed them under surveillance.

“As of today, none of them has shown any symptoms of Lassa fever but we are watching over them to ensure that the disease does not spread.

“We have dedicated lines of those in the emergency centres, the numbers are

08032394921; 08062473160: 08035620234 and 08034175852.”

However, the Ebonyi State government on Thursday denied reports of any outbreak of Lassa fever outbreak, insisting that no case had been recorded.

According to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike, Lassa fever cases can only be ascertained after a laboratory test must have been carried out.

Source: PUNCH

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Paul is a university lecturer, medical researcher, extensively published author and freelance contributor. He holds a MSc degree in cell biology and genetics, and is a PhD candidate of the University of Ibadan.

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