By Umar Yusuf – Yola
Adamawa State Government has confirmed the death of a 29-year-old woman from Numan Local Government Area of the State as a result of the recent outbreak of Lassa fever.
The State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Professor Abdullahi Isa disclosed this on Tuesday while addressing the press on Lassa Fever outbreak.
Professor Abdullahi Isa explained that the index case of a 29-year-old woman was first seen as a gravid patient in a private health hospital in Yola, before referring her to the Federal Medical Center, there she expelled a macerated stillbirth.
He, however, admitted that after the laboratory test the woman was confirmed positive, while the three others tested negative for Lassa fever virus, “they were quarantined and discharged accordingly”.
The Commissioner said the Ministry of Health has assured the public of controlling the Lassa fever outbreak in the shortest possible time and called on the citizens to cooperate as the government can not do it alone.
He described Lassa fever as a highly infectious viral disease that is primarily transmitted from rodents (rats) to human and also from human to human.
The Ministry, the Commissioner revealed has come up with measures for prevention and control which includes, contact tracing through identification and activation of emergency operations centre for management of responses activities on a daily basis.
He said massive Statewide public enlightenment campaign, alert signals sent to all our disease surveillance and notification officers in the State as well as the reorientation of “our health facility staff on infection prevention and control practices and case management has since commenced “.
Professor Abdullahi Isa while advising the public to report suspected cases to the nearest health facility, stressed the need to keep their homes and surroundings clean to avoid contact with rats and avoid drying food items in open space under the sun.
However, a source at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), told newsmen that “the only problem now is that many people are in contact with the deceased patient” adding Seven doctors, five nurses and two sub staff had direct contact with her,” he said.
“But this is just contact, they don’t have any case or manifesting with any symptom. Those that had direct contact with the patient are being quarantined for the incubation period of twenty-one days”, the commissioner explained.
Commenting, the State Director, Public Health, Dr. Bwalki Dilli admitted that for now, one woman was confirmed dead just as the results of the other cases were still being awaited from the referral laboratory centre in Abuja.