The outbreak of Lassa fever in Benue State has claimed the life of a medical doctor, working with World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Samuel Tagher Nyityo.
The state commissioner for health and human services Dr Joseph Ngbea who disclosed this during a telephone interview with our correspondent said two cases of Lassa fever were confirmed in the state however only the medical doctor lost his life.
Meanwhile, the director of public health Dr Terna Kur said three cases of Lassa fever were confirmed in the state, saying, only one person died and two are in isolation.
On what they are doing to contain the disease Dr Kur said the ministry has held a coordination meeting after receiving the news of the outbreak and death.
“We have deployed staff to facilities to lookout for more cases because there may be misdiagnosed cases, we are also tracing the contact of those who may have come in contact with them,” he said.
The commissioner also informed that Governor Ortom has released money to ensure that the disease is contained and those who came down with the disease are already in isolation.
In another development, Dr Ngbea disclosed that WHO have purchased drugs worth N600,000 to be given to anybody who is diagnosed of the disease and urged the public to be on the watch out to ensure that whoever exhibits the symptoms of the disease is taken to the teaching hospital within 20 minutes.
“For Lassa fever, the vector is rat. For the doctor, we discovered that last year, two people had Lassa fever in his compound.
This means that there is a species of rat that moves around in that area, that perches on people’s food. So, people should stop the idea of keeping food outside on the ground and people should be discouraged from eating rats,” he said.
On the preventive measures, the commissioner urged people to always keep away anything that would encourage rats to enter their homes. Those are the preventive measures. Apart from that, people should also see the doctor if they have fever.
“On our part, we will organise a workshop on Lassa fever in Benue to create more awareness why we should not keep anything that will encourage rats into their homes,” he said.