Lassa fever claims one life in Kaduna

Kaduna State Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed the death of a 36-year-old male who tested positive to Lassa fever
in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr Amina Baloni, announced this at a news conference in Kaduna, adding that the patient died on Sunday night and had already been buried.

Baloni said that the state recorded 11 suspected cases, out of which, eight were returned, seven negative and one positive that resulted in death.
According to her, 38 cases are currently on follow up contact and active search is ongoing by the state to curb the spread of the disease.

The commissioner further said that suspected cases in various health facilities should be withdrawn from Ribavirin, an antiviral medication used to treat RSV infection, hepatitis C and some viral hemorrhagic fevers.

She, therefore, appealed to the public to maintain high level of hygiene and report any suspected cases promptly to the nearest health facility.

She said: “the Ministry of Health has supplied infectious disease control centre with the necessary commodities and health personnel are ready to manage any cases that may arise.

“The epidemiology unit is monitoring the situation closely, and all health facilities are on alert for prompt referral of suspected cases.”
Baloni dispelled the rumour that Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital had been shut down to serve as quarantine.

“We didn’t close the hospital but tried to restrict unnecessary visitation to patients to prevent them from contracting other infectious diseases, not only lassa fever.

“The practice of visiting and staying long in the hospital should be discouraged, especially with young children.”
The commissioner said that the state had set up two committees to address issues concerning lassa fever and would also take responsibility for the victims’ bills.

She said: “Everything about the victims’ bills and burial would be taken care of by the state government.

“We have raised a Rapid Response Committee and an Emergency Preparedness Committee toward tackling the scourge.” (NAN)


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