22 August 2016
The Delta State Ministry of Health has confirmed one person dead and 32 others on surveillance following a reported case of Lassa fever.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, said in a statement on Monday in Asaba that a medical doctor died from the disease in the state.
“On August 18, 2016, one case of Lassa fever was reported in Delta State. The confirmed case was a medical doctor resident in Asaba who hailed from Anambra State.
“He was first admitted in a private hospital in the state and was later referred to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State.
“The patient’s condition deteriorated and he died after three hours on admission,’’ Azinge said.
The commissioner said that blood sample earlier collected from the victim was confirmed to be positive for Lassa fever after laboratory analysis at the Institute of Lassa Fever, Irrua in Edo State.
He added that following the incident, the state government took immediate action to forestall the spread of the disease by shutting the deceased doctor’s hospital in Umuaji quarters in Asaba.
“Following the discovery, we also ensured that the hospital where he was treated at Bonsaac area was also shut and fumigated.
“His wife’s blood sample was taken and tested at the Institute of Lassa fever; it, however, came back negative.
“So far, a total of 32 persons have been placed under surveillance; these include 11 persons from the immediate family of the deceased, 18 persons at the private hospital where the patient was first admitted and three other persons who made contact with the deceased,’’ Azinge said.
The commissioner also disclosed that two local government Disease Surveillance Officers in Oshimili South and Oshimili North were actively involved as part of the state’s response team.
“The Surveillance Officers have been monitoring the temperature of those under surveillance and this will be done for a period of 21 days.
“The State Lassa Fever Response Team has been reactivated while sensitisation of health workers in the state is ongoing,’’ he added.
Azinge said health workers were being sensitised to the need for preventive measures when managing infectious cases.
According to him, the ministry has also embarked on awareness creation through the mass media to enlighten the public on the mode of transmission of the disease and the preventive measures to forestall its spread.
The commissioner also said that prevention materials had been sent to the various local governments prone to high-risk disease outbreak in the state.
“Personal Protective Equipment, non-contact thermometers and other items have been distributed to the Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers in all of the 25 local government areas by the Ministry of Health.
“The drug, Rivabirin has been procured for immediate case management while the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Medical Association in Delta have been contacted and are collaborating with us,’’ he said.
The commissioner gave the assurance that the situation was under control and appealed to the public not to panic.