From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
FOLLOWING the death of a medical doctor from Lassa fever, 32 persons have been quarantined in Asaba, Delta State capital.
The late doctor’s hospital in Umuaji area and another private hospital where he was treated at Bonsaac area, all in Asaba, have been shut down and fumigated.
A medical practitioner resident in Asaba, who hailed from Anambra State, reportedly died at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State where he was referred to for the treatment of Lassa fever.
The victim was first admitted at the private hospital in Bonsaac area of the state capital, from where he was referred to NAUTH. His blood sample tested positive to Lassa fever at the Institute of Lassa Fever in Irrua, Edo State.
According to the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, those placed under surveillance included 11 persons from the immediate family of the deceased, 18 persons at the private hospital where the patient was first admitted and three others, who made contact with the deceased.
Azinge, in a statement, said two local government disease surveillance officers in Oshimili South and Oshimili North councils were part of the state response team, adding that the officers would be monitoring the temperature of those quarantined for the next 21 days.
He said the state Lassa Fever Response Team had been reactivated, adding that the sensitisation of health workers in the state was ongoing to have a high index of suspicion and take preventive measures when managing infectious cases.
“Awareness creation through various mass media, so the public can understand how the disease is transmitted and, therefore, take preventive measures to forestall its spread.
“In addition, outbreak prevention materials have been pre-positioned in high-risk disease outbreak councils.
“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), non-contact thermometres and other items have been distributed to the disease surveillance and notification officers in the 25 councils by the Ministry of Health. The drug Rivabirin has been procured for immediate case management.”
“The Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Medical Association, Delta State, have been contacted and are collaborating with the health ministry. I want to use this medium to assure the public not to panic since the situation is under control,” Azinge said.