Lassa Fever Kills 10 In Ebonyi

The Ebonyi State Government has confirmed 10 persons dead while 15 others were infected following an outbreak of Lassa Fever in seven local government areas of the State.

Confirming the incident, the Disease Surveillance Notification Officer, State Ministry of Health, Mr. Orogwu Sampson, said that the cases occurred between January 4 and February 16, 2024.

He noted that within the one-month period, “25 people were infected including 2 healthcare workers with 10 deaths.

Orogwu said that last year, the State recorded 53 cases while 36 people lost their lives, adding that the disease cuts across all ages.

He maintained that out of the 25 confirmed cases,16 people were men while nine people were women.

“Those who died include a pregnant woman, two children, men and women.

“The Local Government Areas affected include Onicha, Ikwo, Ezza North, Ebonyi, Izzi, Ohaukwu and Abakaliki with Hausa quarters and Nkaliki residential areas recording the highest number of cases.

“Other LGAs that have not recorded any case so far may be because they have not reported not that it doesn’t exist there,” he explained.

He said that the treatment is free and urged people to go for early detection, early presentation and treatment to avoid further loss of lives.

In his reaction, the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Ogbonna Nwambeke, said that the State Government was partnering with World Health Organisation (WHO), Breakthrough Action Nigeria, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), among others, to mitigate the menace.

He called for provision of logistics to increase surveillance and community engagement against the risk factors.

Dr. Nwambeke advised people to stop bush burning, avoid eating rats and touching the surfaces an infected person has touched as well as maintain a high level of personal and environmental hygiene like covering their food and utensils properly.

He appreciated the State Government for giving them a large volume of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to give to health workers at National Obstetrics Fistula Centre to ensure that their own health workers are alive to save others.

He noted that Lassa Fever is a hemorrhagic illness that occurs every dry season in Ebonyi State and expressed the regret that the outbreak started so early this year.

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