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Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever Claims 5 Lives in Kaduna

Following the outbreak of Lassa Fever in Kaduna, the State Government has confirmed the death of five individuals.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Hajiya Ahmed, provided the News Agency of Nigeria with a report on the disease outbreak on Tuesday in Kaduna, which includes the confirmation.

To confirm the outbreak, she said that six samples were initially collected from contacts, and then six more samples were collected and submitted to Bayero University Kano for analysis “with a 24–28-hour turnaround time for the result.”

She stated that a youth corps member, age 26, who was the index case was hospitalised at the 44 Army Reference Hospital on February 9 after becoming ill but passed away on February 20.

“Symptoms presented included fever, headache, convulsion and bleeding.

“Thereafter, a total of 32 suspected cases were line-listed and samples collected. Six cases were confirmed positive, with five deaths and a male–female ratio of 1:1.

“The result also showed five were negative, while 21 results are being awaited.”

The report states that 19 more people in addition to the 99 that have already been line-listed and are being followed up with some symptoms and samples were taken.

According to the commissioner, the state government has taken some action to stop the disease’s spread thus far.

She mentioned the establishment of the Incident Management System at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Mando, Kaduna, as well as the deployment of the Rapid Response Teams of state and local government regions.

Additional steps include managing the media, doing an active case search, tracking down contacts, following up, communicating risks, and supplying medication and supplies to the IDH, Mando, and the 44 Army Reference Hospital.

Some other measures taken, Ahmed said, were the supply of rodent equipment by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, as well as interventions for rodent control by a team from the Federal Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the state team.

She listed challenges encountered in combating the spread of the disease including late presentation of patients to hospital, poor adherence to infection prevention control in health facilities and non-adherence to the use of triage points.