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Medical director, commissioner confirm Lassa fever outbreak in Abia


[File Photo] Lassa Fever treatment.

Lassa fever outbreak has been confirmed at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia in Abia State.

The state Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu and the Medical Director at the FMC, Dr. Abali Chuku, made the confirmation in separate contacts with The Guardian.

According to Chuku, a one-month old female medical doctor at the hospital, Dr. Ndu Ukwu had died of the disease.

He said the woman’s husband is also a doctor at the hospital.
The medical director said the FMC has adopted all necessary measures to address the outbreak, as directed by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).


He listed the measures to include tracing all the people that had contact with the late victim, and keeping them on a 24-hour surveillance.

The director added that the CDC has also been contacted to assist in the relevant areas.

Also, the commissioner, in a statement confirmed that the state government was aware of the outbreak at the centre.

He said: “The state Ministry of Health is working with the authorities of the FMC to ensure the full containment of the disease. This includes the prophylactic treatment of others who may have had contact with the victims.

“We have fully deployed all our emergency medical response systems to instantly ensure full containment and management of the outbreak.”

The government called on members of the public to be vigilant and report all suspected cases to the nearest medical facility in the state.

Kalu urged all those who have had contact with the child, suspected to be the index case, and the late medical practitioner to report to the FMC, Umuahia immediately for further review.

The commissioner assured that the state has drugs in good quantities for the treatment of Lassa fever, and urged the people not to panic.

“There should be no cause for panic, as the disease can be successfully treated, especially if diagnosed early,” he said.

He also advised the residents to ensure that they maintain clean and sanitary environment at all times.

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