101 persons died of Lassa fever —MSF

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A humanitarian medical organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières, on Saturday, called for proactive vigilance in Nigeria against Lassa fever, saying 101 persons had died in the recent outbreak of the disease.

MSF, also called Doctors without Borders, disclosed that 101 persons were confirmed dead of the disease out of the reported 146 total deaths recorded since the outbreak in the country.

MFS’s Field Communication Manager, Maro Verli, made the disclosure in a statement in Maiduguri, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The statement quoted MSF’s Emergency Coordinator, Claire Lansard, as saying that 1,781 suspected cases of the disease were recorded at various facilities in the country between December 2017 and March 2018.

Lansard said, “The current outbreak is the largest in recent years, with 1,781 suspected cases; of which 408 were confirmed, and 146 deaths while 101 were confirmed to be Lassa fever.

“However, the number of cases reported to health facilities has declined in the recent weeks according to figures from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.”

Meanwhile, Adamawa State has recorded its first case of death from Lassa fever.

The victim was an official of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, identified as Gabriel Ambe.

Ambe was reportedly serving in Gembu, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State. He died on Thursday at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola.

The Head of the state Rapid Response Team for Infectious Disease, Dr. Batulu Mohammed, and another medical consultant, Dr. Sati Awang, on Saturday, said the deceased tested positive for viral hemorrhagic fever, popularly known as Lassa fever.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fatima Abubakar, said the death was the first recorded case of Lassa fever in the state.

Abubakar said other health experts in infectious disease and representatives of the World Health Organisation were trying to identify individuals who came in contact with the deceased to contain its spread.

She maintained that since the deceased was suspected to have contracted the disease from Taraba State, the commissioner for health in Taraba State had also been contacted in order for both states to contain the disease.

A relative of the deceased, who spoke on behalf of the family, Ezekiel Ambe, blamed his death on the alleged medical negligence of authorities at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola.

Ambe said the family had resolved to sue the hospital. SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the news of the disease was already causing panic among residents of Yola.

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