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Lassa Fever Outbreak: 2 Doctors, 1 Nurse Confirmed Dead



Rats [File Photo]

Three medical practitioners at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki in Ebonyi State have died of Lassa fever.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike confirmed the deaths, revealing that one of the deceased patients was a nurse, whereas the other two were  dead patients were medical doctors.

He added that the index patient who was treated by one of the doctors and nurse survived and had been discharged.

Umezuruike, however, clarified that the cause of the death of one of the doctors was yet to be confirmed to be Lassa fever as he had diabetes.

The commissioner further said the victims presented late because they were self-medicating when the symptoms started showing.

He said: “Early last week there were suspected cases of Lassa, and yesterday my attention was drawn to it that a doctor died of suspected Lassa. We sent 12 samples and four came out positive.

“One was self-medicating, he went to Mater Hospital in Afikpo. Two doctors he saw later advised him to go back to FETHA, he refused until it was advanced before he came to the hospital.

“For the second doctor, Umezuruike said because he has mobidity of diabetes, his death has not yet been confirmed to be caused by Lassa fever.”

“He was treated at FETHA. We built and donated the Virology Centre to FETHA. The second case treated a woman who was bleeding after undergoing local ovuloctomy and he was treated by the doctor to arrest the bleeding on December 29, 2017. They didn’t present her to the hospital on tim.”

He said the ministry had commenced contact tracing in order to monitor anyone who came in contact with the patients to ensure that no further deaths are recorded.

Ibukun Josephine Bankole was a Senior Associate at Naija News. A Mass Communication graduate, Ibukun is passionate about journalism especially in the areas of health and child related issues. She loves eating beans, singing, acting and giving motivational speeches. Ibukun is meticulous and has a positive approach to life. Contact me via twitter/Instagram @ibukunbankole_