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We are Prepared to Tackle Any Disease – Health Commissioner … Says No Lassa Fever Case In Kaduna

We are Prepared to Tackle Any Disease – Health Commissioner
… Says No Lassa Fever Case In Kaduna

By ALEX UANGBAOJE

The commissioner, Kaduna state ministry of health, Prof. Andrew Jonathan Nok on Wednesday said there is not a single confirmed case of Lassa fever in the state, despite the spread of the disease in states around Kaduna state.

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He stated this at a press conference where he said the state government is fully prepared to tackle the disease whenever and wherever it is detected in the state, stressing that related facilities have been reactivated.

According to him, about five weeks ago, places like “Nassarawa, Plateau, Kano, Niger states and of course, the Federal Capital Territory reported several cases of the outbreak of confirmed Lassa fever’.

This development he said compelled the state government to be on alert’’ and ‘’knowing that this is a contagious virus, we have to actually activate all those facilities which we have, in case we have persons that have been identified with Lassa fever’’.

Though he said there is no reported confirmed case of the killer disease so far, the commissioner disclosed that there were reports of suspected cases but investigations later reveal that the insinuations were not correct.

He cited the case of a patience at the General Hospital, Saminaka where a female patience who was suspected to be victim of Lassa fever was said to have “discharged herself, most likely on account of advice of her relations’’.
Regretting that the patience went home and died, Prof. Nok however said ‘’as of then, it was not really confirmed whether that patience was infected with Lassa virus”.

He explained that his interaction with the Medical Director of the general hospital Saminaka revealed that ‘’the samples taken to Abuja for analysis confirmed that it was not a case of Lassa virus and that put to rest the issue regarding the Saminaka Lassa suspect on admission’’.

Speaking further, he recalled that ‘’the case of a Lassa fever which was reported in Lagos was traced to a student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The patience initially went and reported at the Ahmadia hospital and subsequently at the Lagos Teaching hospital.

‘’Yes, the patience was confirmed by the physician then as having Lassa fever and so what we did was to link up with the authority of ABU and we were able to trace the room mates and the department.

‘’Consequently, we quickly despatched staff of the department of public health, Kaduna state ministry of health to Zaria for necessary actions. The first thing they did then was to fumigate the classes where we know that the patience that was reported in Lagos had lectures.

Also fumigated were the hostels where he stayed with his colleagues.

‘’Similarly, seven students who were roommates to this suspect were isolated and their samples were taken and sent to Abuja for examination and clarification. About a week later, one of the persons started to exhibit symptoms of fever and we went into actions to find out the status. Fortunately for us, the result came out negative. The suspected case was not Lassa fever.
‘’We had other reported cases of symptoms that pointed to Lassa fever in Ikara, Seven of them plus a woman. While the woman was restricted to a facility at Ikara, others were brought to facilities in Kaduna.

‘’Meanwhile, their samples have been taken to Abuja. We are waiting to find out if those cases are positive. Now in a nutshell, this is the situation report with regards to Lassa fever in Kaduna state’’, the commissioner said.

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