By Abdulmumin Murtala – Kano
At least two people have died of a disease suspected to be hemorrhagic fever probably Lassa Fever in the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital while those that had contact with them are quarantined, a situation that has generated panic.
Anonymous sources from the hospital told Vanguard Online that a pregnant woman, now late, had a caesarian session about 20 days ago and is suspected to be the source of the disease.
“A House Officer that died recently assisted in the C/S that was done to the woman. The late Dr Habib who died recently had contact with the patient in ICU. The SR that operated the patient is currently sick and has been isolated” the source declared.
The source also said that steps are being taken to control the situation as the hospital is processing the procurement of antidotes.
“Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital is in the process of securing Ribavirin for all the primary contacts of the patient. Healthcare workers should be vigilant and cautious” the source added.
More so, there was a statement issued by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA to staff of the hospital. Part of the statement reads
“My dear colleagues,
It is sad we’ve lost our colleagues within a week.
Of note are the 2 cases of suspected Lassa fever (whose samples were taken to confirm diagnosis).
“While awaiting the results. There was an emergency meeting this evening for a harmonious effort between the Kano State MOH & AKTH.”
“The two sides have shown commitment so far; Suspected cases received IV Ribavrin and were transferred out to Yargaya Isolation center; All primary contacts are to be on quarantine; Contact tracing will continue from tomorrow morning (all those identified should pls comply, for early treatment).
The statement further added, “More PPEs would be mobilised for moving of any suspected case, that may come up.”
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The statement also called for calm and precaution to be observed by all saying:
“Meanwhile, we should remain calm and observe the proper precautionary measures in our workplaces. The issue is under control.
“All stakeholders are appreciated as we continue to monitor commitment from both sides.
“May the almighty have his mercy on the deceased and make it easy for us” the statement finally said.
Lassa Fever results from rats’ urine and is said to be killing about 5000 people annually in the West African region.
According to the World Health organization, Lassa Fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well.