Lassa fever returns, Kogi records a case

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[Kogi]–The Kogi Government on Sunday confirmed a case of Lassa fever in Angwan Kura Community, in the old market area of Lokoja, the state capital.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, disclosed this in a statement.

“This is to inform the general public that there has been a confirmed case of Lassa fever in Lokoja, Kogi State”, he said.

“The confirmation was done after a patient (male) who is a resident of Angwan Kura, Lokoja reported at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, with signs and symptoms suggestive of haemorrhagic fever.

“The State Epidemiologists immediately responded by sending the patient’s blood sample to the designated Laboratory at Federal Specialist Hospital Irrua, Edo State for analysis, which came back positive for Lassa fever.”

The commissioner said that the patient was eventually transferred to Federal Specialist Hospital Irrua, Edo State for optimal care.

“The State Rapid Response Team was summoned by the commissioner and provisions were made for source/contact tracing and prophylactic treatment for medical personnel who had contact with the patient before transfer.

“All these have been concluded as all those who have had contact with the patient are currently being closely monitored.

“It is important to note that it was discovered that the patient had travelled to Ilorin, Kwara State where he had stayed for two weeks, he only developed symptoms of haemorrhagic fever two days after his return.

“We are, therefore, uncertain whether he contracted the virus in Ilorin or here in Lokoja.

“All hands are on deck to prevent further spread of the disease as jingles and other means of public enlightenment are currently ongoing.

He further urged the public to assist the government by reporting any likely case.

“Any suspected case of Lassa Fever or any one with useful information related to this subject matter should call this designated 08030607102.’’

It should be recalled that there was an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria around mid of 2015 and was only contained around May last year.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 273 cases of Lassa fever, including 149 deaths were recorded in Nigeria between that period.

Also, in January 2016, Nigerian health authorities announced the death of a Lassa fever victim in Abuja.

Lassa fever , also known as Lassa hemorrhagic fever ( LHF ), is a type of viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus .

Symptoms includes fever , weakness, headaches, vomiting , and muscle pains.

Less commonly there may be bleeding from the mouth or gastrointestinal tract .

The disease is usually initially spread to people via contact with the urine or feces of an infected rat.

Spread can then occur via direct contact between people.

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