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Kogi confirms two deaths from Lassa fever outbreak

Lassa fever

Kogi state Commissioner for Health, Dr Haruna Saka, on Thursday confirmed that two persons have died in the state from an outbreak of Lassa fever discovered earlier this year.

The commissioner, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Ahmed Attah, disclosed this at a media briefing in Lokoja while giving an update on some public health diseases in the state.

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He said a total of 10 suspected cases of Lassa fever have so far been reported in the state this year, out of which four were positive.

According to him, three of the positive cases reported were from Ibaji LGA and one case from Ijumu LGA, adding the two deaths were recorded from amongst the positive cases between January and March 2019.

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He said the other two people with positive cases were successfully treated and are now in stable condition.

He said following the outbreak, the state embarked on response efforts such as provisions of personal protective equipment, provision of ribavirin tablets for prophylaxis as well as building and equipping of the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (PHEOC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The commissioner enumerated other response efforts to include provision of Lassa fever treatment centre with well equipped side laboratory, community sensitisation in Ibaji and Ijumu LGAs, training of surveillance officers in collaboration with the state office of WHO and timely rapid response activities of the Rapid Response Team to outbreak spots in the state.

He advised that as part of preventive measures, people should store food in rodent-proof containers, cook all food thoroughly, keep a clean environment, observe personal hygiene and should above all, avoid contact with multi-mammal rats which transmit the Lassa fever virus.

The commissioner also advised the public to report to the nearest hospital when they observe symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bleeding from orifices.

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