Corper diagnosed with Lassa Fever in Asaba, 16 dies in Ondo

Corper diagnosed with Lassa Fever in Asaba, 16 dies in Ondo.

A National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC) member serving in Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area, Delta State, has reportedly been diagnosed of Lassa fever.

The corps member identified simply as Yinka has subsequently been taken to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State for adequate medical attention, a hospital source conference disclosed.

It was learnt that the patient took ill at the NYSC lodge in Asaba last week and was eventually taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Asaba, where series of tests conducted reportedly confirmed the Lassa fever virus.

A colleague of the patient, who would not want his name disclosed, explained that: “When Yinka fell ill last Wednesday, we bought him some drugs thinking it was just common fever or malaria and would soon be okay again, but he wasn’t getting better. He was getting pale and his eyes and urine changed in colour.

“So last Friday, we decided to take him to FMC Asaba. After series of tests at the hospital, it was confirmed it was Lassa fever, so he was taken to Edo State today (yesterday).”

The Coordinator of NYSC, Delta State, Mrs. Olutayo Samuel, who confirmed the incident, said the infected corps member had been transferred to a specialist hospital in Edo State.

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Nevertheless, reactions from the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ononye Mordi, and the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Dr. Victor Osiatume, were still being awaited at the time of filing this report.

There have been reports of outbreak of the dreaded Lassa fever in some parts of the country recently, but has been more than one year since such case have been officially reported in Delta State.

Meanwhile, the Lassa fever has reportedly claimed no fewer than 16 lives, while 28 are said to be on the danger list, following the outbreak of the deadly disease in Ondo State.

It was learnt that a majority of the victims were from Oka Akoko, Owo and Ose.

A source said, “Over 100 people affected have been receiving  treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, while 16 have died and 28 are on the danger list.”

According to the source, a ward in the hospital reserved for Lassa fever patients is overcrowded, forcing the doctors to refer some patients to the Virology Centre in Akure.

A source at the FMC claimed one of the health workers in the hospital lost his wife to the disease a few days ago.

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He also confirmed that the number of Lassa fever patients in the hospital was increasing on a daily basis.

A member of the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told one of our correspondents that a  sensitisation programme was needed to stop the disease in the state.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, said the issue was already being addressed by the state government.

He said, “I am at the Governor’s Office (on Monday evening)  and we are having a meeting on the matter.

“That is (Lassa fever issue) is what we are trying to address now. We are working on the report available and the next line of action. That is why I’m here.”

Ondo State Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Fagbemi, later confirmed the outbreak of the disease at a meeting with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in Akure.

He confirmed that 84 cases were so far recorded, while the 16 patients died because their cases had reached an advanced stage before they were taken to hospital for treatment.

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

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In Kano, confirmed cases of Lassa fever have killed three persons, including two medical doctors and a pregnant woman at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in Kano.

The doctors, a consultant Anesthesia and House Officer were reported dead days after operating a pregnant woman, who was suspected to be a primary carrier of the disease at AKTH.

A senior medical doctor at the hospital revealed that the case was under investigation to establish the fact, saying that the hospital had collected samples of the primary source for investigation.

Chairman of Nigeria Medical Doctors (NMA) in Kano, Dr. Sanusi Bala, confirmed the death of two medical doctors to the outbreak.

On this part, Acting Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr. Auwalu Umar Gajida, also disclosed that the hospital was collaborating with the state Ministry of Health on contact tracing of secondary suspects.

He said while awaiting the result of samples of the suspects from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the hospital has commenced sensitisation on safety and precautionary measures, while treating the patients.

He warned members of staff against releasing information on social media to avoid panic.

Updated: January 22, 2020 — 2:40 pm

The Author

Comrade Nnadi Goodluck

Comrade Nnadi Goodluck started writing since 2007. In 2016, he graduated from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra with a Degree in Educational Management and Policy/Health Education. He did his NYSC in Oyo state.

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