The Abia state Ministry of Health has confirmed the outbreak of lassa fever in Olokoro community, Umuahia South Local Government Area.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Chief Egbulefu Eze, in Umuahia on Tuesday in an interaction with journalists.
He stated that a 28-year-old man, who died in the community, was diagnosed of lassa fever.
He also allayed the fears of possible epidemic in the state, adding that the ministry was taking measures to contain the spread of the disease.
Eze said said the victim died on January 1 at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia, where he was admitted.
He said, “I want to report about an outbreak of lassa fever at Olokoro,” the permanent secretary said.
He said it was the fourth time Abia would experience the outbreak since 1999.
He also revealed that that the state government had always contained previous outbreaks and was already on top of the situation.
“There’s no cause for alarm. Government is on top of the situation,” Eze said.
He noted that in the course of the investigation, all those that came in close contact with the deceased had been identified stressing that they have ben placed on surveillance.
He said that the disease surveillance officers of the ministry was already consulting the state office of the World Health Organisation to map out strategies on ways to checkmate the spread of the disease.
Also, the Medical Director of FMC Umuahia, Dr Azubuike Onyebuchi, said the deceased was initially suspected to be suffering from acute appendicitis.
Onyebuchi revealed that further examination on the man was the case of lassa fever.
He also said the hospital had identified all the hospital personnel that came in contact with him and placed them on 21 days surveillance.
Responding the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council, Dr Ugochukwu Onyeonoro, said the hospital had been “decontaminated”.
He observed that the patient was brought to FMC from another hospital stressing that the state government was promptly informed after the case of lassa fever was released.
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