Written by Bede NNAJI

Fear as Abuja records first Lassa fever death

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory are in fear following confirmation by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, that one person has died of Lassa fever at the National Hospital, Abuja. 

Some residents told our correspondent that the death of the unidentified male in Kubwa calls for vigilance and high standard of hygiene as was shown during the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.

Adewole who made the confirmation at the National Hospital called on health workers at all levels to be more vigilant and look out for patients with symptoms of Lassa fever. 

He directed that all primary and secondary contacts of the victim should be tracked including the staff of the private hospital in Kubwa where the deceased was first managed for one week, before referral to National Hospital. 

Adewole advised family members to report at the nearest hospital if anyone has symptoms of fever for more than two days. 

He called on the residents of Abuja not to panic, but to maintain high level of vigilance and present themselves for test if they feel unhealthy. 

According to him, the symptoms of Lassa fever includes high fever, stooling, tiredness, vomiting, among others, adding that self-medication should be avoided at this period. 

Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Jack Momoh, who briefed the minister during his visit, said that the patient was brought in unconscious from a private hospital in Kubwa where he was admitted for 8 days. 

The 33-year old man, who is said to be newly married, lived in Jos, Plateau but came to see a family member in Kubwa because of his illness. 

He however died within 24hours of being admitted at the National Hospital. It could be recalled that this latest death from Lassa fever brings the total number of deaths to 43 in the country from 10 states 

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