Kebbi state government has confirmed the death of one person from six cases of Lassa fever infection recorded in the state from February to April, 2019. Among the six cases was a female patient who passed away within hours of arrival at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Birnin Kebbi.
Dr Assad Hassan, an Epidemiologist at the state’s Ministry of Heath, confirmed this in Birnin Kebbi at the weekend. He said “Since the emergence of Lassa fever outbreak on 5th February, 2019, in the state, there have been six confirmed positive cases; four from Birnin Kebbi and two from Bunza Local Government Area”.
He added that the age of the affected persons ranges from 23 to 65 years and it comprises of four males and two females. Dr. Hassan said the blood sample taken from the deceased patient tested positive to Lassa fever.
“The doctor who attended to the deceased was also infected but had been treated and discharged from hospital,” he said. He stated that the last confirmed case was on the 27th of April, 2019 and refuted a rumour that two children died last week in the state as a result of the Lassa fever. He said in response to the outbreak, they have embarked on continuous sensitisation of healthcare workers on Lassa fever case, detection and infection, prevention and control measures within the hospital.
“Similarly, we have embarked on advocacy, social mobilisation and community engagement in the 21 local government areas of the state,” he said. The epidemiologist also advised communities to keep food and drinking water in rodent-proof containers and should take any infected member of the family to the hospital at early stage of the disease to reduce mortality rate.
“The state Ministry of Health through the State Epidemiology Unit has been coordinating all response activities to the Lassa fever outbreak in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, UNICEF, and other development partners,” he said.