The Delta State Government has confirmed about four cases of Lassa fever in the state.
The State’s Commissioner of Health, Joseph Onojaeme, who spoke to newsmen in Asaba on Friday, March 22, listed the affected local government areas as Okpe, Oshimili North, Oshimili South and Ndokwa East.
According to him, Emergency Operation Centers, EOCs, have been set up across the state to monitor the situation and ensure residents are aware of what is going on.
“In week 12, we have four confirmed cases so far recorded with a fatality rate of 50%, though the general fatality rate for Lassa fever is 1–15%, so we are doing everything humanly possible to ensure that we curtail the transmission from patient to health workers and from patients to relatives,” the commissioner disclosed.
He said the government is doing a lot of advocacy, especially for health workers, and sensitizing residents to have a high index of suspicion when they see those cases.
Onojaeme added that the state government is working closely with Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State, and has been able to get test results in less than 24 hours, as opposed to what was commonly obtainable, which was within the range of 72 hours.
The State Epidemiologist, Dr. Mildred Igumbor, said one case of Lassa fever is an outbreak; hence, all hands should be on deck to ensure the elimination of the disease.
She explained that Lassa fever is spread through contact with the urine of rats on foods and urged residents to ensure rats don’t get in contact with their food so that they don’t contract the disease.
Igumbor stated that the Isolation Center in Federal Medical Center Asaba has the capacity for isolation and management of confirmed cases, and if there is a need for referrals, they would be transferred to Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State.