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Lassa Fever Rages On | 1 dead in Abuja, 3 dead in Rivers, 1 case in Lagos, hundreds under observation



dreamstime_xl_52701925Lassa fever is a viral disease usually gotten from infected rats. The fever has been gaining ground in Nigeria for the past few months.

According to various reports, the fever has shown up in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and 11 states in Nigeria. There have now been 43 recorded deaths in the country. When heavily infected, a person bleeds from various parts of their body before passing away.

The Federal Ministry of Health has been working with the World Health Organization (WHO) already and predicts cases will rise in the coming months, as it is still dry season, so they are meeting with commissioners around the country to find ways to curb the spread.

Citizens are being urged to maintain a clean environment to avoid the spread.

Punch reports,

A senior ministry official said the disease may still claim many more victims especially in February and March (dry season) when the disease vector, multimammate rats procreate heavily, thus increasing the chances of infecting foodstuffs.

For Lagos, there has been one confirmed case, according to Punch

A case of Lassa fever has been confirmed at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos

A report by an online newspaper, The Cable, cited the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, as saying that the case involves a 25-year-old student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Adewole was said to have added that the patient was responding to treatment.

For Rivers, according to Vanguard,

The Commissioner for Health in Rivers, Dr Theophilus Odagme, has confirmed that three persons have died, while more than 200 others are currently under observation, following the outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state.

In Abuja, there has been one confirmed death. Punch reports,

A suspected Lassa fever patient died on Friday evening at the State House Clinic in Abuja after bleeding from various parts of his body.

The young man, whose name could not be immediately ascertained was said to have been sick for about two weeks, before he was rushed down from Kaduna to the clinic where he gave up the ghost.

It was learnt that the patient was bleeding from the mouth and ears before he died. His remains had been deposited at the SHC morgue.

Our correspondent learnt that the ministry had distributed Glabarine injections and tablets to states having outbreaks of the disease.

The minister had announced the death of the first Lassa fever patient at the National Hospital, Abuja last Wednesday.

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  1. nene+

    January 16, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Ebola a more dangerous and more contagious disease killed 9, lassa fever a lessser devil has now killed 42??????

    Errmmm health minister Isaac said Jonathan administration caused it. For not implementing the road map and now tell me who implemented Ebola cure road map?Can you beat that daft blame?

    Professor Adewole no additional soul should die any more on lassaoooo! Instead of informing public on how to prevent, he conveniently blames! Like President like ministers!

    • She

      January 17, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Ebola was imported by one man who was confined in one state. Only people who had contact with this man were able to contact Ebola. Lassa Fever has been in Nigeria and is not particular to a state hence the reason for more victims.

    • Nne

      January 17, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Not true. Ebola made it from Lagos to port Harcourt, there everyone was tracked down, quarantined. There was at least one ebola Death in PH. When ebola hit radio Nigeria was broadcasting prevention in every dialect known to us, I got text messages from the phone companies on ebola prevention. I have not seen or heard pim on.lassa fever except on social media. The minister of health needs to buck up stat. I have never seen an administration work so fast to lose goodwill.

  2. Ba

    January 16, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    These are the pictures of the technocrat PMB assume positions to work with. Where there is faulty with the mind, there is bound to be no headway. Imagine in my own status, i can’t even be thinking of blaming one past adminstration for something. It shows weakness and stupidity on my part. let him better sit down and start working. This is just a signal. There are health issues to tackle. and some ministers will be figure-head, nothing to show, update or communicate to their citizen they have done or doing.

  3. Allegra

    January 17, 2016 at 12:03 am

    In 2016, seriously!!

  4. ElessarisElendil

    January 17, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Disappointing. I’m yet to see the sensitization blitz like during the ebola scare. Where are the posters, the adverts??

  5. Dr. Michael Emmanuel

    January 17, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Thank you @ nene. Honestly I don’t know what this country is turning to

  6. Funmi

    January 17, 2016 at 9:44 am

    To be honest, I’m very sorry but Nigerians are so blatantly ignorant sometimes it’s nerve wracking. How many people have taken a moment to understand the dynamics of the disease and it’s spread before jumping on PMB and the Minister of Health and comparing this to Ebola. Yes given, they have their faults, but how many of us have cleared the rats in our homes and compounds, or Buhari should do that one for you.
    Lassa fever if picked up early can be cured and there in lies the problem, access to healthcare and health seeking behaviour. We wouldn’t report to the hospital early when there are the early illness symptoms and then wait till you are bleeding from orifices to seek care when it’s pretty much too late. And after deciding to seek care, not many peripheral centers can handle the care or even have ribavirin accessible and that is where our government has failed us. Very few Lassa fever centers have been set up and there are even fewer tertiary centers catering to the nations demand.
    So before you start saying Ebola this, Ebola that, even we in the medical line realize it was purely God that saved this nation and not our efforts, because all it would have taken was for one contact to not report. So please guys, just be careful, maintain a high standard of hygiene, keep food in containers not accessible by rodents. You have as big a role to play as PMB and the Minister of health In Curbing Lassa fever.
    Good day and God bless.

    • Nne

      January 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Where is the sensitization? Do you know how many people in the rural areas have not heard about lassa Fever? A LOT. I was in the village when ebola hit and there was a media blitz. every youth corper in my village was trained by MoH and sent to farm to talk about ebola. With Lassa it’s been complete silence. Nigerians, we need to demand more from your govt. We want PMB to succeed, but he won’t if we keep making excuses for the current amateur hour show his administration is putting up. They are dropping the ball jor, let’s tell them to step up, it’s not every time we mobilize to vote out, let’s mobilize to say buck up.

    • nnenne

      January 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      @Funmi… You said it yourself, it could be cured when picked up early. Have the government informed the entire population about that?
      How much public health education have taken place like cause, prevention like cleaning your household as you suggested, early signs and symptoms, need to seek early health care etc?

  7. L.U

    January 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Funmi thank you for this.

  8. Oduwa

    January 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    The disease has claimed 46 lives in Nigeria so far! Not dis year alone. Lassa fever has being around b4 this time, it’s treatable if discovered early with ribavirin. Instead of blaming the government and PMB how about reading about the symptoms and taking steps to protect your self. Fashola and the LASG were proactive. How about the states affected now are they doing half as much as was done for Ebola. I live in portharcourt and Diobu precisely many of d people here have been to BMH recently (where the doctor died) also use it as thier main clinic and many don’t have proper information about Lassa fever, d amount of rats in Diobu is something else yet d garri sold is left open or in a place rats can access, d place is also very crowded should 1 case happen hear the probability it will spread like wild fire is so high. No IDH (infectious disease hospital) or facility nearby to handle should there be a case. I’m doing the little I can by telling my neighbours and anyone I can about Lassa fever, it’s transmission methods instead of complaining why don’t u do ur part, educate ur neighbours it will go a long way.
    Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever. It can be transmitted by contact with food contaminated by Rat urine or faeces or with the body fluids of infected humans. Symptoms include: Fever, Weakness, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Stooling. Please maintain good hygiene and store food in rodent proof containers. However, if you notice the above symptoms please see your Physician.
    Please spread it thank u

    • Word

      January 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Do people in the rural have access to social media. Yes, PMB and the MOH have failed! If it was Jonathan, you all will be calling him clueless!!

  9. fleur

    January 18, 2016 at 4:16 am


    Its good to be loyal. But when lives are being lost, let us call a spade a spade. MOH has been deafeningly silent on Lassa Fever. Not the same as when Ebola was the issue. HEre is why a lot of noise is good around Lassa fever. First, it will keep the masses on the alert. Second, it will ensure dissemination of public health messages about symptoms, what to do when you have symptoms. Three, it will alert the medical community from doctors to nurses. Four, it will foster discussions at state and local levels about allocation of resources specially for this issue. Now, what is the role of the feds? The role of the federal government led by PMB and his minister for health is to initiate this communication action plan, define a coordinating strategy for collecting surveillance data (a key element in owning and subduing epidemics), set up a coordination strategy that is known to health officials, other officials and the general public, ascertain where resources are needed, and mobilize resources. This is not a be all end all. But it is what Jonathan’s minister for health did. Maybe because Lassa fever has always been in the north, our officials are not taking it seriously. Ebola carried with it a very high degree of fear because of the near 100% mortality rate and the brutality of the disease. But if we do not embrace Lassa, we will find ourselves in the same boat.

    Here is another reason why government response is imminent. Nigerians are currently been beaten into the ground by the economic situation. At an exchange rate of 300 to 1, items like bleach, soap, detergent, disinfectant, gloves and even doctor’s visits become high luxuries. Also, because people are not eating well and are chronically severely stressed out from the great uncertainty in the economy,, it is likely that there is a critical mass of immunologically vulnerable people in the country. Yes, you need a healthy diet to fight disease and stay healthy. Stress is also known to reduce your immune system to child’s play. People will need to be alerted to the nature of the disease to understand what they need to do to when. This is where government is important. Poverty has a correlation with the spread of disease. The world saw it during the scourge of the bubonic plague. Poverty underlies the constant resurgence of the Ebola virus in Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and guinea. lassa has spread to southern Nigeria and the west even though historically, outbreaks have been confined to the north. With the current economic hammering, what we have in Nigeria is multiple jeopardy at play. Intervention at his level is important.

    So my dear, loyalty to PMB is admirable. But if you are that loyal, take some of these suggestions to him. It is better than nothing that is coming from up there and around him where he is busy traveling the world to discuss a failed and permanently tethered to the ground sector, while people are being felled by a viral disease epidemic.

    • nnenne

      January 18, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      @fleur… e- hugs.
      You killed it.

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