Lassa fever kill 2 in Rivers

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of two persons in the state following the outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.

It would be recalled that on Tuesday, January 22, 2020, a resident of Rivers State died in a hospital in Edo state after the patient was diagnosed of Lassa fever.

The Acting Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Dr Chinwe Tonye Atata, had disclosed last Friday, that based on the development 57 persons have been placed under surveillance in the state.

However, The AUTHORITY gathered that one other person died on Sunday, while the second person passed on Monday and the body victims have been buried

Meanwhile, in a statement on Wednesday, Dr Chinwe Tonye Atata, who spoke on the development, said the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre had since been making efforts towards containing the outbreak of the disease.

Atata disclosed that health experts had also been carrying out decontamination of facilities, presumptive prophylaxis and surveillance to ensure public health safety.

She explained: “There was a case. It happened in the night and the person passed away. The sample was sent to Irua and that is one of the positive cases.

“Two samples were sent from here and one sample was the Irua case, which was positive and they are all late.

“But, there is no spread as of now. The 57 persons are still under surveillance; they are going through the routine procedure and decontamination of the facilities has been done.

“The families of the late persons are also under surveillance. The drugs are available and we have a lot of them that have been procured by the Rivers State Government.

“We also have some that were also sent from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. We have a holding centre being prepared.

“You will recall that few days ago, I briefed you on a number of suspected cases that were being investigated in the state. We have received preliminary confirmation that three (3) of the samples tested positive to Lassa virus.

“The Rivers State Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) had earlier commenced pro-active effort for containment of the outbreak. So far, all hands are on deck for facility decontamination, line-listing, presumptive prophylaxis and surveillance to ensure Public health safety and security”, she stated.

Atata, assured Rivers people that they should not panic, adding that there were experts on ground to contain the disease.

“There is, therefore, no cause for alarm as all cases are being managed with expertise according to the standard protocol for containment.

“The public is further advised to continue all necessary preventive measures under the circumstances”, she advised.

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