Lassa fever: Fear grips Ondo as death toll rises to nine

By Dayo Johnson
Akure—FEAR has gripped the people of Ondo State following the rise in the number of deaths recorded as a result of the spread of Lassa fever from six to nine in the state. Lassa-fever To douse the fear, the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu made a statewide broadcast to the people of the state on steps so far taken to stem its spread. Vanguard gathered that the disease has spread to eight council areas of the state. Confirming the casualties rate, the governor said nine persons have been confirmed dead and 102 others under watch. Akeredolu said: “A total of 102 suspected cases of Lassa fever have been reported in eight local government areas of Ondo State. Out of the figure, 36 of the 79 cases with laboratory results have been confirmed, including nine deaths.
At present, 127 Hospital Contacts and 308 Community Contacts were line-listed in all the affected local government areas while 30 have completed their follow-up. He said patients are being managed at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, while confirmatory tests are done at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Edo State. To contain the spread of the disease, Akeredolu said, an Emergency Preparedness and Response Team has been reactivated at both the state and local government levels in addition to active surveillance and contact tracing in the affected council areas. He added that sensitization and community mobilization are going on in all council areas for traditional rulers, religious leaders, political leaders, market women and other stakeholders. “Publicity is also ongoing through radio jingles, radio and television discussions in our media houses. “Information, education and communication materials such as handbills, flyers and posters have been produced and these are being distributed,” he said. He also said vehicles have been dedicated for transportation of samples and referred patients to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospitals, Irrua, Edo State just as the Infectious Disease Isolation Unit at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo has been expanded through support of his administration.
“Some Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, Drugs, and hospital beds were donated to FMC, Owo to support the management of the patients,” the governor said.

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