Edo State, at the weekend, confirmed one death from Lassa fever and recorded 12 new cases as the government steps up measures to contain the spread of the disease across all communities in the state.
The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, who disclosed this while addressing journalists in Benin City, said the death is the first recorded since the recent outbreak of the disease in the state.
She said with the 12 newly confirmed cases, the state has now recorded a total of 40 confirmed cases with 28 persons currently on admission at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH).
The Health Commissioner said the new confirmed cases were recorded in Esan West, Etsako West, Etsako East, Ovia North East and Akoko Edo Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
According to her, “We have confirmed 12 new cases of Lassa fever in Edo State, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 40. With the new figures, we now have 28 persons, including 23 adults and five children who are currently receiving care at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.”
Prof. Akoria noted, “In the face of the rising number of cases of Lassa fever in Edo State, the ministry of health would want the general public to be aware that until Edo is completely free from Lassa fever, one is safe.
“In the new listing for cases that were diagnosed in the last 48 hours, positive cases have been reported from Ovia North East Local Government Area, in Edo South Senatorial District. Some of the affected people are healthcare workers. We are however happy to announce that of all 40 cases so far reported, majority have done and are doing well.”
“Unfortunately, we have recorded one death. It is noteworthy that this death occurred in a patient who had been unwell for six weeks and didn’t present to a proper hospital for care until he developed complications.
“We are using this medium to call on all Edo residents to be aware and take responsibility to work with the ministry of health, observe preventive measures and report early symptoms suspected to be malaria or any other illnesses that present like malaria.”
The health commissioner added, “For all health workers, we urge them to heighten the index of suspicion for Lassa fever and obtain samples from patients who are likely to have the disease for testing at the reference lab at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
“We will continue to work with all our partners to ensure that all patients get prompt, effective and appropriate care. We continue to count on the support and collaboration of every Edo resident. Together, we can eliminate Lassa fever from Edo State and Nigeria. Remember, no one is safe until everyone is safe.”