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Lassa Fever: 57 persons under surveillance in Rivers


The Rivers State Centre for Disease Control has confirmed that it has received four reports of suspected cases of Lassa fever in the State.

The Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health in the State, Dr. Chinwe Tonye-Atata, disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt while giving updates on the report, noting that 57 persons have been placed under surveillance in Rivers.  

She said findings show that two out of the four cases reported are not Lassa fever, while two other results are being awaited from the National Reference Laboratories for Virology.

She informed that an indigene of Rivers State was diagnosed with Lassa fever in Edo State recently, regretting that the victim died on January 22, 2020, at a Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo. 

The State, she hinted, is working with the hospital management, family and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ensure public safety, especially for the health workers and first responders while 57 persons are under surveillance.

According to Tonye-Atata, “In the last weeks, we received four reports of lassa fever, all those case has received adequate attention, it has been investigated and two discarded. Other two cases are still being suspected, unconfirmed and results are being collated”

“We are working assiduously to ensure public health safety in exposed clusters especially among public health personnel and the first respondents, presently 57 persons have so far been placed under surveillance”.

She called on health care centres in the State to maintain a high level of caution and hygiene, ensuring they are properly protected, face masked and gloved. 

“The general public is also enjoined to promote good community hygiene, keep your food and water covered to prevent contamination by a rat. Foodstuffs should be put in food containers and covered; do not dry food items in an open place.”

Don’t touch food items with open hands; the use of alcohol disinfectant is recommended and washing of hands regularly as well as keeping the environment clean is very important.”

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