Anxiety as Lassa fever kills doctor, three others in Anambra
Lassa fever is back in the country as a doctor and three others have died of the disease in Anambra State.
The state director of Public Health, Dr Emmanuel Okafor, confirmed the deaths yesterday at a one-day Lassa fever training workshop organised by the Ministry of Health.
One of the resource persons at the workshop, Dr Jane Ezeonu, said the medical doctor died three days ago at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi.
She explained that the late medical doctor, who was the prime case, was referred to NAUTH from Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Consequently, he warned Anambra residents to stop drinking raw garri, cautioning them to protect their foods and related items from having contacts with rats.
She explained that contrary to popular belief, people don’t acquire immunity after suffering from Lassa fever, reiterating that general hygiene is very important in preventing the disease.
Okafor said the essence of the workshop was to train professionals who would go to the grassroots to educate people on how to prevent the disease.
According to him, “In Anambra, we don’t know the number of likely cases, but we have three confirmed deaths so far. We call on health workers in the state to exercise high standard in handling the established cases.”
He allayed the fear of the residents of Anambra and Delta states, stating the state government has put proactive measures in place to handle the disease.
The Guardian learnt that top officials of the ministry have been making frantic moves to suppress the information.