Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Following one case of Lassa Fever in Kaduna at the weekend, the Commissioner for Health in Kaduna State, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni, on Monday confirmed the death of a 36-year-old, who was tested positive for the disease in the state.
The Commissioner had on Saturday, confirmed a case of Lassa Fever at Chikun Local Government Area of the state, saying that the 36-year-old male patient was receiving treatment at a designated Infectious Disease Control Centre.
Speaking at a press conference, the Commissioner announced that the patient died on Sunday and had since been buried.
She said the state now has a total of 11 suspected cases of the disease, adding that eight were returned, seven were negative and one positive, who was the patient that died, adding that 38 suspects were on follow-up contact.
She also said suspected cases in various health facilities should be withdrawn from Ribavirin, an antiviral medication used to treat RSV infection, Hepatitis C and some viral hemorrhagic fevers.
She added that active effort was on for the state Ministry of Health to curb the spread of the disease, saying that the Ministry had supplied disease control centres to tackle the disease.
“The Ministry of Health had supplied infectious diseases control centre with the necessary commodities and health personnel who are ready to manage any cases that may arise.
“The epidemiology unit is monitoring the situation closely, and all health facilities are on alert for prompt referral of suspected cases,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner also dismissed the rumour making the rounds that the Barau Dikko Specialists Hospital was locked to avoid people contacted with the disease.
She assured residents that the Ministry had supplied the centre with commodities and that health officials were up to the task, noting that all the state health facilities had been placed on the alert to look out for cases of the disease.
The Commissioner had said in a statement: “The Ministry of Health has supplied the infectious diseases control centre with the necessary commodities and our health personnel are ready to manage any cases that may arise.
“The epidemiology unit is monitoring the situation closely, and all health facilities are on the alert for prompt referral of suspected cases.
“We wish to appeal to members of the public to maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene, keep food in proper storage and to remain vigilant to report suspected cases to the relevant authorities.”
The social media was awash with the rumour on Sunday with the message: “The management of Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital wishes to draw the attention of the public and patients’ relatives that in view of the recent emergence of Lassa Fever, the hospital will henceforth restrict the entrance of people not in need of medical attention through its various gates.
“We solicit your support and cooperation in this regards, please.
“This is for the benefit of all. We thank you for your understanding.”
But the Commissioner dismissed the message saying “we didn’t close the hospital (Barau Dikko Specialists Hospital) but tried to restrict unnecessary visitation to patients to prevent them from contacting other infectious diseases, not only Lassa Fever.
“The practice of visiting and staying long in the hospital should be discouraged.”