Lassa fever hits Kogi, one dead, 3 hospitalized
Kogi state has joined the list of states in Nigeria being ravaged by the recent epidemic of viral hemorrhagic fever as Lassa Fever has claimed its first victim in Kogi, with three victims being hospitalised and isolated.
The disease has claimed about 29 lives in 13 states with many other patients in intensive care units.
The Head of Clinical Services, Dr Bernard Ododo of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, disclosed the state of things in Kogi while speaking with our correspondent on Sunday in Lokoja.
Ododo said that five suspected cases of Lassa Fever were reported in the hospital in the last week, with three testing positive for the disease, one of whom died.
“Five suspected cases were reported at the hospital in the last [one] week; three have already tested positive, of which one died.
“Two cases have already been transferred to Lassa Fever Management Center at Irua Specialist Hospital in Edo State. Two others (of which one has died) are waiting their results from NCDC Laboratory in Abuja,” Ododo said.
The doctor advised residents to embrace all necessary precautions to prevent the further spread of the epidemic diseases in the state.
He advised people to maintain a high level of hygiene, to keep rodents away from their residences, personal effects and foodstuff.
He further urged the public to seek early medical attention in case of fever, headache, sore throat, vomiting, joint pain, abdominal pain and, at a later stage, bleeding from different body parts.
The doctor advised the relatives or caregivers of victims to be careful and use gloves whenever they touch or evacuate effluents and wastes from the patient.
“For health caregivers, universally-safety precaution is key. Wash hands with sanitizers, glove and personal protection equipment (PPE) are necessary.
“But first is to uphold a high index of suspicion while clerking patient with likely Lassa Fever signs and symptoms on arrival to the hospital.
“Treatment is more effective if detected early and treatment commenced immediately with fluids and ribavirin. Lassa Fever is highly infectious and contagious, everyone must beware,” Ododo advised.
With the recent, epidemic of Lassa Fever, ensure you kill all rats in your household, always wash your hands and keep your foodstuffs in air-tight containers.