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Lassa Fever Outbreak Kills 1 In Rivers

The Rivers State Ministry of Health has officially reported a recent resurgence of Lassa fever within the state.

Dr Adaeze Oreh, the Commissioner for Health, made the announcement in Port Harcourt.

Unfortunately, one fatality case has already been documented. The outbreak is linked to four cases that were presented at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

While one of the cases was confirmed posthumously, the other three patients have received treatment and have been reunited with their families.

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Oreh said:

This is out of 42 suspected cases with 31 of them representing symptomatic high-risk contacts to the confirmed cases. A total of 72 contacts were placed on surveillance and 30 of them have already exited the follow-up scheme having completed the mandatory incubation period.

Another 42 will exit by the 26th of February. All 18 high-risk contacts were placed on preventive therapeutics and are also doing very well.

“While 27 samples have returned negative we are still expecting results from the remaining eleven samples of suspected cases.”

Meanwhile, Oreh stated that a collaborative team of health sector stakeholders is diligently working to safeguard lives.

She reassured the people of Rivers State about the State Government’s unwavering commitment to curbing the Lassa fever outbreak.

She added that the government possesses enough resources and supplies to manage the disease outbreak and encouraged the public to consistently prioritize community hygiene.

The Commissioner said:
The team of the State Ministry of Health, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Niger Centre for Disease Control and the Stakeholders of the multi-disciplinary multi-sectoral state public health emergency operation centre including the World Health Organization are working assiduously to and synergistically to ensure the protection of lives in the course of this outbreak.

“I assure you of our concerted and dedicated commitment to contain this outbreak sooner than later. I wish to inform you that the government has risen sternly to this challenge.

“All health service centres are kindly advised to maintain simple trial systems for all patients and sustain the standard infection prevention principles required for service delivery.”

She also advised people to keep their edibles out of reach of rats.

She said:

Keep food and water covered to prevent contamination by rodents. Store grains and other foodstuff in rodent-proof containers. Dispose of garbage neatly and maintain clean households and environment among others.”

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