Lassa fever kills three in Ekiti

A fresh outbreak of Lassa fever has reportedly killed three persons in Ekiti State, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rotimi Ojo, has said.

Ojo, who addressed reporters yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, said five of the eight suspected cases tested negative while one was uncertain and the last one pending at press time last night.

The commissioner said the government was taking proactive steps in its surveillance involving the residents because some cases and deaths had been recorded in neighbouring states.

He assured the residents that the State Disease Control team had been alerted while the process of sensitising the people with jingles, adverts and other communications media were ongoing.

Ojo said similar actions taken during the 2016 outbreak were successful, adding that the epidemic was controlled and the identified patient, who was properly managed, survived.

According to him, the three isolation centres at Ido Federal Teaching Hospital in Ido-Ekiti; Oba Adejugbe General Hospital, Ado-Ekiti and the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital in Ado-Ekiti were still operational.

The commissioner urged stakeholders, including health practitioners, teachers, traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as community and opinion leaders, to join hands with the state government to prevent the spread of the disease.

He advised the people to avoid self-medication and keeping sick people at home.

Ojo noted that any unusual increase in temperature or fever must be reported to the nearest health facility.

He stressed the importance of environmental sanitation practices and general cleanliness, saying hand-washing, good food storage as well as practice and enforcement of infection prevention and control at various health facilities should not be compromised.