By Andy Chukwu
Three more states: Rivers, Bayelsa and Adamawa, have confirmed suspected cases of Lassa Fever in their respective state.
Chiwendu Atata, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, confirmed three positive cases out of the 50 reported in the State last week.
Atata said the Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) had earlier commenced pro-active effort for containment of the outbreak.
“So far, all hands are on deck for facility decontamination, line-listing, presumptive prophylaxis and surveillance to ensure Public health safety and security.
“In addition, the State has procured large quantities of anti-viral agents, isolation centres have been designated and are being set-up across the teaching hospitals in case of any eventuality. Rivers State Government is doing everything to contain the Lassa Virus,”Atata said.
In Bayelsa State, Dr Pabara Igwele, the state Commissioner for Health, disclosed that a suspected case of Lassa Fever has been recorded in the state.
Igwele, in a press briefing in Yenagoa, said although details of the case have not been made clear, he said the suspected case was discovered at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Yenagoa, stating that samples have been collected and send to the Irrua Specialist Hospital for confirmation
He advised health care workers and the public to take preventive measures such as, washing of hands before consumption of food, disinfecting surfaces and materials in the health care setting to avoid the transmission of the virus which spreads through ingesting food and drinks contaminated with the faeces and urine of infected rodents as well as through person to person transmission.
“We are rounding up our level of preparedness and awareness campaigns in we are also in touch with the Centre for Disease Control, Abuja to align our strategies and the World Health Organization as well, importantly, we are collaborating with the Federal Ports Authority at air, land and sea borders,” Igwele said.
Meanwhile, the State government has reportedly set up an isolation centre at Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital to cater for cases of the disease if any is suspected in the state.
Also the Adamawa State Government has confirmed the death of a 29-year- old woman from Numan Local Government Area of the state as a result of the recent outbreak of Lassa fever.
Professor Abdullahi Isa, the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, who disclosed this at a press briefing, said the index case of a 29-year-old woman was first seen in a private health hospital in Yola before she was referred to the FMC, where she expelled a macerated stillbirth.
He, however, admitted that after the laboratory test the woman was confirmed positive, while the three others tested negative for Lassa fever virus; “they were quarantined and discharged accordingly”.
Sources at the FMC disclosed that those that had direct contact with the patient are being quarantined.
Dr Bwalki Dilli, the State Director, Public Health, disclosed that for now, one woman was confirmed dead just as the results of the other cases were still being awaited from the referral laboratory centre in Abuja.