Judex Okoro, Calabar
There is palpable fear among residents of Calabar in Cross River over a reported case of Lassa Fever at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) on Monday.
Investigations by our correspondent showed that three days ago, two patients were admitted separately into the accident and emergency unit of UCTH as they showed unusual symptoms of sore throat, general body weakness, cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and muscle pains which are associated with Lassa Fever.
It was gathered that the doctors on duty collected their samples and reported the case to the management who quickly took it to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital at Ekpoma, Edo State, for analysis.
A source at the hospital said the management is not treating the case with kids’ gloves as they have taken precautionary measures to protect the doctors and other health workers just as they have fumigated some departments.
However, some residents who have patients at the hospital, are panicking with regard to the fate of their dear ones amidst reported case of Lassa Fever.
It was gathered that fear had also gripped some patients at the hospital and they were said to be making alternative arrangements for fear of being contaminated.
Chief Medical Director Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme said to Daily Sun in a telephone chat: “A patient was admitted and to be sure of what type of ailment ( he was suffering) we took the sample and have taken it to the laboratory for proper analysis.
“So we cannot confirm whether it is Lassa Fever or not until we get the results. We are still expecting it.”
In a press statement issued on Monday in Calabar, the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, said there was no confirmed case of Lassa Fever in the state and urged members of the public not to panic.
Edu advised residents to observe strict preventive measures to forestall the Lassa Fever outbreak in the state.
According to her, the Ministry had intensified emergency preparedness and response to the ongoing Lassa Fever outbreak in the country.
Further checks revealed that the Isolation Centre located at UCTH which was started since 2016 is yet to be completed.