By Kunle Adedoyin
Death toll in the Lassa fever outbreaks in Ondo and Kano states is rising with two doctors killed in Kano state.
The Ondo State Government said 16 people had so far been killed by the deadly Lassa fever while 84 cases were recorded in the state this year.
Also, Dr Imam Bello, the Director of Public Health and Disease Control in the Kano State Ministry of Health, said on Tuesday confirmed the death of two medical doctors and a pregnant patient at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.
It was reported on Monday that 15 persons had lost their lives as a result of the disease in Ondo, but the death toll rose to 16 on Tuesday.
The Ondo State Epidemiologist, Dr Steven Fagbemi, disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the local government chairmen from the Ondo North and the Central Senatorial Districts, at the Governor’s Office in Akure, the state capital.
“Sixteen of the patients have passed on as their cases had reached advanced stages before they were brought to the hospital. Forty-seven patients currently on admission are responding to treatment, while 21 persons have already been treated and discharged,” Fagbemi said.
Akeredolu urged the residents to stay calm as the government had adopted some measures to tackle its spread to other areas.
Akeredolu, who said poor hygiene was responsible for the spread of the disease, added that the government had stepped up efforts to sensitize the populace about the disease through massive community awareness creation.
“The government has continued to provide free treatment to all patients that present with this disease in our treatment centres. We will like the public to note that this disease is totally treatable; indeed so far several patients have been treated and have fully recovered.”
In Kano, some patients were said to have been placed under the Intensive Care Unit of the teaching hospital.
Reports said that a House Officer in the hospital, Ummu Kulthum, died on Friday, while an anesthetist consultant, Habeeb Musa, died on Monday.
The third victim, a pregnant woman, died due to suspected complications from Lassa fever.
Bello said Kulthum died after she assisted in the caesarean section carried out on the late woman.
He said the other suspected infected health workers were responding to treatment.
He explained that the infected persons would be quarantined at the state Isolation Centre at Yargawa in the Dawakinkudu Local Government Area of the state.
“So far, we received a report of three deaths from AKTH, which we are suspecting to be the case of Lassa fever. So far, two samples were sent to the reference laboratory. We are awaiting the results,” Belo said.
The late pregnant woman from Bauchi State, suspected to be the carrier, had a caesarean section 20 days ago at the teaching hospital.
The Kano State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA),in a statement, said samples had been taken to the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control in Lagos for analysis. The result of the analysis was still being expected.